NSCN-IM leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah in Dimapur and (right) S.S. Khaplang. File pictures
New Delhi, Oct. 29: The Centre is attempting a reconciliation among the warring NSCN factions in order to hasten a settlement to the decades-old militancy.
With hopes of a final settlement with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) surfacing, a backhanded compliment came from none other than the rival NSCN (Khaplang) faction.
“They are attempting to bring the factions together. The ministry of home affairs is trying to talk to all factions,” NSCN (K) leader Wangtin Naga told The Telegraph.
Officials of the Intelligence Bureau and other agencies are in touch with various outfits in order to ensure a smooth implementation in case of a settlement with the NSCN (I-M) early next year.
Wangtin, a key signatory in a recently signed ceasefire agreement by his outfit with the Myanmar government and also a key functionary talking to the MHA, warned that a settlement with only one faction would be a “mockery”.
He iterated that NSCN (K) will not “join” the NSCN (I-M)-Centre’s solution although there is no clarification that there will be a spirited opposition, indicating that all factions were gradually being brought on board.
In the settlement with the Isak-Muivah faction, the government has apparently agreed for a separate flag for Nagaland besides other add-ons, all of which contribute to assuring protection of Naga identity.
The question is of the identity crisis among the rebel groups.
Nagaland has several militant factions besides the two major NSCN groups, which split in 1988 after eight years together. These include the NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) that split from Khaplang faction last year and three factions of the Naga National Council (NNC).
However, people have reacted with increasing disgust to extortion and the seemingly unending talks with the NSCN (I-M).
After a decade, NSCN (K) has not even begun negotiations.
The Centre had decided during the tenure of G.K. Pillai as Union home secretary that a final settlement would be subject to all factions coming together.
Repeated attempts by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) a church-led organisation, to get all parties on board to stop violence and forge a united face, have failed.
North Block’s attempts, however, are on a different plane as the government tries to placate other outfits and sell a single solution for the “Naga problem”.
“The government of India has encouraged the NSCN (I-M) with false promises that they will solve the problem. But it has to play a big role in bringing together the Nagas (for a solution to work),” said Wangtin.
The NSCN (K) leader indicated his group was in no mood to accept the rival’s supremacy or primacy.
‘Reconciliation’ as a term came from the Church in Nagaland in the early 2000s following gory battles between the rebel factions.
Hundreds were killed since the Myanmar-based Khaplang faction split from Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah of the NSCN (I-M) in 1988.