Manipur state opens a rehabilitation camp for former rebels this Week

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Imphal, Nov.29 (AN): Manipur government opened a rehabilitation camp for former rebels this week.

The camp is part of Government's efforts to enable the surrendered militants to join mainstream by ensuring their rehabilitation in the State.

Opened at Koubru in Senapati district on Friday (Nov. 27), it is the first of the designated camps for the Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) outfit to surrender their arms and maintain Suspension of Operations (SoO).

The camp is equipped with a hospital, church, canteen, guesthouse, five barracks, a playground and an armoury.

A Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) has so far approved 2,000 cadres to be rehabilitated, out of which 188 are cadres of KNF.

The camp is among the 22 to be set up at five locations as per a tripartite agreement signed between the central and State governments and Kuki tribal groups.

The State government has sanctioned around 4.5 million rupees for the construction of such designated camps for surrendered rebels under SoO.

The Central and State government had signed an agreement for stopping counter-insurgency operations against Kuki militants in the state (Suspension of Operations) on August 22, 2008. The ceasefire has been extended for another year i.e. upto August 2010.

"It is open to any group which agrees to the Suspension of its Operations. Similarly when the other groups are there if any accepted the fact that (they) are going to get themselves inside the camp, there is no point in (their) moving in populated areas," said Brigadier Anil Chauhan of the Indian army, who inaugurated the camp.

India's northeast is home to more than 200 tribes and ethnic groups and is racked by separatist insurgencies.

In Manipur alone, more than half-a-dozen guerrilla groups are fighting more than 50,000 troops, some battling for freedom and others for political autonomy. The conflict has left more than 20,000 people dead. (ANI)

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