The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Naga groups sign peace pact

Kohima, Dec. 8: A six-month ceasefire between the warring Naga factions today raised hopes of an end to the spate of fratricidal killings in the state.

The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M), its rival Khaplang faction, Naga National Council and the newly-formed Unification Core Committee today agreed on an inter-factional ceasefire for six months, as the Joint Forum of Nagaland Goanbura Federation and Nagaland Dubashis Association had proposed.

The joint forum had managed to bring some warring groups together in June last year and passed a resolution for a six-month ceasefire. However, the factional clashes continued unabated.

After weeks of efforts, the factions finally resolved to suspend military operations against each other and appreciated the initiative taken by the joint forum to stop the “senseless” killings.

The factions also resolved to pursue peace and unite the different Naga groups and tribes.

The NSCN (I-M) kilonser (minister) Yanger Pongen, Naga National Council general secretary Vizosielhou Nagi, NSCN (K) kilonser R.M. Lotha and Unification Core Committee member “major” Chuba Ao signed the peace resolution today.

Besides Yanger, steering committee members Venuzo Zholia, D.T. Lincoln, Lima Ao, deputy kilonser P. Mor and ceasefire monitoring group member Zeneituo represented the NSCN (I-M).

General secretary Vizosielhou Nagi and other members of the Naga National Council, such as Zasilhoubi, Zieseu and youth wing general secretary N. Yanremo, were also present. Additional chief secretary and commissioner T.N. Mannen signed the resolution as a witness.

Mannen said this was the first time the joint forum had managed to bring all the factions to one platform since they started the initiative to stop the bloodshed.However, some members of the Khaplang faction are still opposed to the idea of integration of Naga areas under one administrative roof though the outfit’s chairman S.S. Khaplang is from Myanmar.

They are also opposed to the idea of unification with the Tangkhul Nagas.

The Nagaland Baptist Church Council has described the unification movement launched by the Western Sumi Hoho as a positive step.

“The move is not complete yet and the process might lack design, but any effort to bring the Naga people together is welcome”, church council general secretary Rev. Zhabu Terhuja and director of peace affairs Rev. Kari Longchar said today.

The church council cited examples of other countries where a few concerned individuals got together, prayed and sought God’s will and wrought national reconciliation and peace.

The council urged every tribe to work for peace in Nagaland and welcomed the “near unanimous view” expressed by diverse public organisations that “unification must aim at bringing all Naga tribes together, whatever differences may have divided us.”

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