Sunday, May 19, 2024

Historic Peace Accord Signed to End Decades-Old Insurgency in Assam

The pro-talks faction's demand for constitutional and political reforms to protect Assam's indigenous identity and resources was met with a draft agreement from the Union government in April.


The pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has signed a peace accord with the central and Assam governments, marking a crucial step towards ending the long-standing insurgency in the state.

The peace pact, which follows 12 years of unconditional negotiations led by Arabinda Rajkhowa, aims to bring about constitutional and political reforms to safeguard the identity and resources of Assam’s indigenous people, including their right to land. The 29-member delegation, comprising 16 ULFA members and 13 representatives from civil society, formally agreed to renounce violence and integrate into the mainstream.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed his satisfaction, stating, “It is a matter of joy for me that today is a bright day for the future of Assam.” Shah highlighted the efforts made since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014 to bridge the gap between Delhi and the Northeast. He emphasized that the ULFA, the oldest insurgent group in Assam, has committed to giving up violence, disbanding the organization, and participating in the democratic process.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma lauded the historic day, attributing the achievement to the continuous efforts for peace during PM Modi’s tenure. He declared, “Three accords have been signed, and with three accords, tribal militancy has come to an end in Assam.”

The ULFA, formed in 1979, sought a “sovereign Assam” and engaged in subversive activities, leading to its ban by the central government in 1990. The group split in 2011, with the Arabinda Rajkhowa-led faction opting for non-violence and initiating talks with the government.

The ULFA-Independent faction, led by Paresh Baruah, remains a major insurgent outfit in the state, opposing negotiations. Baruah is believed to be residing along the China-Myanmar border.

The pro-talks faction’s demand for constitutional and political reforms to protect Assam’s indigenous identity and resources was met with a draft agreement from the Union government in April. The recent round of talks, held in Delhi since the delegation’s arrival on December 26, culminated in the signing of the historic peace accord.

This development comes as part of the Union government’s efforts to establish peace in Assam, with previous agreements signed with rebel Bodo, Dimasa, Karbi, and Adivasi outfits over the last three years. The signing of this accord marks a positive step towards a more stable and harmonious future for the state of Assam.

The Indian Bugle
The Indian Bugle
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