Manipur: SoO pact extended by one year

Imphal, March 07 2022: The Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact signed among the Government of India, State Government, UPF and KNO has been extended by another year.

Notably, KNO and UPF are two umbrella bodies of several Kuki militant groups.

The tripartite SoO pact was first signed on August 22, 2008 .

While the SoO pact has been extended periodically, a process of political dialogue was initiated in the course of time.

The last round of SoO extension expired on February 28.However, no meeting on extension of the SoO pact could be held as elections were going on in five States including Manipur.

After the State went to polls in two phases on February 28 and March 5, a meeting was held today among officials of the State Government, Government of India, KNO and UPF at the BSF Officers’ Mess of Nizamuddin, Delhi.

The three parties agreed to extend the SoO for one year till February 28 next year.

UPF spokesman Aaron Kipgen (KNF), ZRA/ZRO vice-president Kethoes Zomi and UKLF secretary in-charge Joshua Thadou attended the meeting on behalf of UPF.

KNO was represented by its spokesman Dr Seilen Haokip and JMG convenor Dino Zou.

The State Government was represented by ADGP (Intelligence) Ashutosh Kumar Sinha while the Government of India was represented by Ministry of Home Affairs Additional Secretary (North East) Piyush Goyal.

The meeting agreed to keep the SoO ground rules unchanged.

Pointing out that there were instances of nabbing KNO and UPF leaders and cadres along with arms and ammunition by security forces outside their designated camps even though SoO ground rules clearly state that cadres of SoO groups should not move around with arms, officials of the State Government and the Government of India urged both KNO and UPF to adhere to SoO ground rules and restrict their cadres within their respective designated camps.

As the SoO pact has been extended by one year, due process to resume political dialogue is likely to be initiated soon, sources further informed The Sangai Express.

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