Tripartite SoO with Kuki militants expires: SoO extended 3 months

NTIMES 23Nov: Tripartite SoO with Kuki militants expires: SoO extended 3 months

Kuki militants under tripartite Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with centre and state government Thursday agreed to remain enforce the ground rules of the pact even as the term of the agreement expired November 22.

SoO agreement between Army and constituents of United People’s Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO) has been in force since August 1, 2005. It was agreed between government of India, government of Manipur and KNO and UPF to formalize these SoO agreements and cease hostilities with effect from August 22, 2008.

The agreement signed on August 22, 2008 was extended by one year on August 22, 2009. The agreement was further extended by 45 days with effect from August 22, 2010.

After review of the progress regarding implementation of the revised “Agreed Ground Rules” 2010, the SoO was extended for one year with effect from August 22, 2010.

After reviewing the progress regarding implementation of the revised “agreed ground rules” 2010, the SoO, the tripartite signed the fourth extension on SoO upto August 2012.

Another round of tripartite talk between the centre, state government and KNO and UPF held at New Delhi on August 21, 2012 has agreed to extend the agreement for a period of only three months and it has expired today.

According to highly reliable source the agreement was extended only for three months after differences surfaced among the signatories in certain points.

The differences surfaced when authorities of Central and state government observed unsatisfactory with the presence of cadres of signatory militants groups in their respective designated camps during monthly inspections, violation of ground rules by the cadres to indulge in kidnapping, extortion, intimidation etc. and to ensure deposition 100 percent deposition of arms in the armory as per agreement before initiating political dialogue.

KNO and UPF have been reportedly demanding initiation of political dialogue before ensuring deposition of arms of theirs cadres.

Following the differences, KNO had even threatened to pull out of the SoO if their demands were not acceded by the Centre and state government.

However, the apex body of eight Kuki militants has withdrawn from its stand after chairman of the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) of the SoO LM Khoute who is also the additional DGP of Manipur police convinced the leaderships of KNO in a meeting held yesterday (Tuesday).

The meeting has arrived to understanding that the ground rules will continue to be in force even as the term for the tripartite SoO agreement expired until further talk for further extension of the agreement was signed between the parties, an official source in the state home department said.

“SoO pact expires, but ground rules to stay in force to pave the way for the State Government to lobby with the Centre to start a political dialogue with the KNO and UPF,” an official of the home department disclosed.

The response of the two groups came up during a meeting held at Churachandpur yesterday and the tripartite talks to extend the term of the SoO for another one year is likely to take place with the forthcoming fortnight, the source added. NPN

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