UALA all set to join mainstream

Our Bureau

Govt appoints interlocutors for talks with another Garo rebel group

TURA/SHILLONG: A week after two armed rebel groups laid down arms and signed peace pact with Meghalaya government, the State government has appointed interlocutors to negotiate with yet another armed Garo militant outfit United Achik Liberation Army (UALA).

“We have appointed interlocutors for talks and they have begun parleys with the UALA militants,” Principal Secretary, Home, K S Kropha told a news agency on Tuesday.

He said that the first round of talks were held at Tura on Monday in which modalities for laying down arms and officially joining the mainstream were discussed.

At the meeting, held at the Meghalaya Electricity Corporation Ltd guest house, UALA chairman Novembirth Marak and general secretary Nagra and the outfit’s C-in-C Eliast Dakchak and four others were present along with government appointed interlocutors Rev Janang Marak and Rev Frithing D Sangma, both church leaders.

“We officially declare our joining for peace negotiation,” the UALA chief said in a statement to the media on Tuesday.

He said, “UALA will soon join mainstream paving the way for permanent peace in Garo Hills.”

In view of this development the outfit has directed all its cadres to report to their own commands and commanders immediately.

It also requested the Government to officially declare the outcome of the talks and to fix a date for the ‘return-to-the-mainstream’ ceremony.

On December 15, the ANVC and its splinter group, the ANVC-B, laid down arms and signed a peace pact with Chief Minister Mukul Sangma at Tura. (With inputs from PTI)

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