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Manipur blockade by UNC

It was an affair that was waiting to happen. The government had several pointers indicating to the upcoming storm in Manipur. Yet all the stakeholders involved in waging supposedly people s struggles and peace-making chose to turn blind to the warnings in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Manipur. While there have been bouts of violence and arson, thankfully there have been no human casualties which gives hope that situation can still be handled. The immediate cause for the heightened ethnic tension was the indefinite blockade along Imphal-Silchar road and the Imphal-Dimapur road, forced by the United Naga Council (UNC) since November 1. But the Council seems amenable to talks with the Manipur government and this was reciprocated by the latter. To aid in easing the blockade, the Central government also sent 4,000 paramilitary troops to open the highways. The prime reason for conflict in Manipur is the idea of an exclusive ethnic homeland. The overlapping interests of stakeholders give rise to uncertainty as to who is to be given precedence. The demand of UNC is that Nagalim should not be divided into districts without their consent. They consider Kukis as tenant migrants who settled in their land and don t want the Kuki-dominated Sadar Hills given this status. Recently, the cabinet meet had split and create 7 new districts which led to UNC stiffening their blockade stance. An inclusive solution will have to agree to a shared homeland.

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