Rebel group United Minority Liberation Army reveals it all in its first ever media interview
Video Volunteers has become the first media organization to get access to the camp of the United Minority Liberation Army (UMLA), a militant group in the North East of India. The North East region of India is bordered by Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh and China and where dozens of tribal groups are fighting for independence from India, with whom they share very weak cultural ties. United Minority Liberation Army (UMLA), an armed insurgent group fighting for a separate state for the Kuki people in Manipur, North East India. The story was reported by Daniel Mate, a community correspondent trained by Video Volunteers, an organization that enables people from the poorest communities to report on their community issues.
The leader of the insurgent group agreed to the interview only after he learnt that Daniel was himself a member of the same tribe, called the Kuki tribe.
“It’s the first time ever that this group has spoken to the media. They chose me because they trusted me. As a member of the same tribe, I understand what he is fighting for – a separate state just for the Kuki people within India. We are a minority tribe and we frequently face ethnic violence from other groups who deny our rights to the land and natural resources of our state. When the insurgents learnt that IndiaUnheard was a program for the oppressed and the marginalized communities, they felt that it was the right forum for them to speak. They said that I would present their views without any prejudice. Their commander agreed to see me and so I was invited to visit their camp and interview him.”
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