India in peace deal with (some) Assam rebels

The Indian government and the state government of Assam signed a peace agreement Dec. 29 with the rebel United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), aiming to end over 40 years of insurgency. ULFA leader Arabinda Rajkhowa, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Union Minister Amit Shah were all present for the signing ceremony in New Delhi.

The ULFA, formed in 1979, fought for the "restoration of Assam's sovereignty." In 2012, the ULFA underwent a split, and two factions emerged: the Anti-Talks Faction (ULFA-ATF) and the Pro-Talks Faction (ULFA-PTF). The ULFA-ATF renamed itself ULFA-Independent (ULFA-I) in 2013, while the ULFA-PTF began talks with the government.

Chief Minister Sarm, highlighted the importance of moving towards similar peace initiatives with other "separatist" and "insurgent" groups in the state, including Bodo, Karbi, and Adivasi factions.

However, ULFA-I, led by Paresh Barua, was excluded from the negotiations, and remains in arms.

From Jurist, Dec. 29. Used with permission.