The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Church path to Naga patch-up

Kohima, Jan. 19: Stressing the need to bury the hatchet among warring militant outfits in Nagaland, the Naga Hoho and the Church have submitted a “unity formula” to the NSCN (I-M). The two influential establishments have sought a firm commitment from the insurgent outfit in this regard.

A delegation comprising Hoho leaders and Church representatives met Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah in New Delhi, apprising the duo of the need for reconciliation.

“The reconciliation is crucial to a permanent solution. We have made our stand very clear, that all other underground groups should also be taken into confidence before entering into any agreement with New Delhi. There has to be a consensus, otherwise there will be no permanent solution,” Church leader V.K. Nuh told The Telegraph.

He said the response of the NSCN (I-M) leadership was positive, but the Church wanted a firm commitment. The two insurgent leaders have assured that they would seek the opinion of the people in the final phases of the negotiations, Nuh said.

Naga Hoho president M. Vero said the atmosphere in New Delhi was different from Bangkok. Last year, a Hoho delegation had met the NSCN (I-M) leaders in the Thai capital to discuss the issue of reconciliation.

Vero said over phone from the national capital that the discussions were “frank, practical and open”.

He said that the issue of unity was discussed threadbare. “They (Swu and Muivah) said they have to examine and study the proposal. Who would have expected them to be in India this year' Things are changing and the consultations were positive,” Vero said.

President of the Naga Mothers’ Association Neidunuo Angami said the association, too, had made it clear that “different groups with the same goal must walk together”.

Nearly 200 leaders representing various organisations have met the two NSCN (I-M) in the past few days. Almost the entire “cabinet” of the NSCN (I-M)’s underground government has left for New Delhi following the extension of Muivah and Swu’s stay.

“This is not their last visit,” a functionary of the NSCN (I-M)’s monitoring cell said. “We have been enthused by the leaders’ visit and the talks,” he said.

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