Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Manipur rebels return from exile to India

One of Manipur’s main rebel groups, the United People’s Party of Kangleipak (UPPK), has returned from exile after assurances from the Indian government, according to local Manipuri newspapers.

Reports this week said that a Manipuri district police force had facilitated their return on Sunday through the Myanmar border town of Moreh in the Tamu region.

“Forty-five members of the group, including senior leaders—officially declared an ‘unlawful association’ by the Indian government—was assisted by Thoubal district police commando force to return to Moreh while they crossed the Indo-Burmese border,” a local report said.

According to statements by members of the UPPK, they had been stationed in Leipok Sub-township of Tamu Township along with other Indian rebel groups, namely the Naga Revolutionary Front (NRF) and the Katampur Liberation Organization (KLO), which is from Assam.

Four female cadres, four majors, one captain and one sergeant were reportedly among the returnees. They brought with them one Toyota pickup truck, one Kenbo motorcycle, one light machine gun, two Heckler and Koch assault rifles, one 9-mm pistol, one grenade launcher, grenades, and other assorted ammunitions, local papers reported.

“Negotiations since November 2012 with the UPPK have finally [prevailed] with 45 cadres returning to the peace process on February 4 with assorted weapons and ammunitions,” said a statement issued by the Indian government.

It was noted in Indian and local media that at least 10 rebel groups—namely the PLA, ULFA, UPLF, PREPAK, KCP, KYKL, RPF, UNLF, NRF and KLO—remain based on Myanmar soil.

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