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NSCN-K faction announces ceasefire, signals return to peace talks

This splinter group is led by the militant Niki Sumi, who said in a statement that the outfit has “resolved to strengthen and support the peace process at this crucial juncture”

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | Updated: December 24, 2020 1:15:49 am
The NSCN-K had signed a ceasefire with the Centre in 2001 but unilaterally abrogated it in 2015 when the then 'chairman' of the group, S S Khaplang, was alive. (File)

A breakaway faction of the Naga insurgent outfit NSCN-Khaplang Wednesday declared a ceasefire and indicated that it would rejoin peace talks with the government.

This splinter group is led by the militant Niki Sumi, who said in a statement that the outfit has “resolved to strengthen and support the peace process at this crucial juncture”.

Sumi said the group was “aware of the sincere and genuine efforts made by the GoI in the recent past” to find a lasting solution to the Naga issue “with the involvement of all the stakeholders”. He said it has decided to revive ceasefire with immediate effect “by revoking the earlier decision of unilateral abrogation” of the ceasefire in 2015. Back then, the outfit was led by its founder, SS Khaplang, who died in 2017.

“We expect GoI to respond positively by honouring our decision as a confidence building measure in the larger interests of peace in Nagaland and Naga people in general,” the statement said.

After its founder’s death, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang named Khango Konyak as the new head. In 2018, however, the outfit split when he was reportedly “impeached”. Khaplang’s nephew, Yung Aung, took over the group, which is based in Myanmar.

Meanwhile, the first breakaway faction of the NSCN-K, led by Konyak, joined peace talks in early 2019.

The NSCN (Isak-Muivah)—the largest and most influential Naga outfit—has, meanwhile, been engaged in peace talks with the Centre since 2015. These talks however, have not made much headway as the outfit has held on to its demands for a separate Naga flag and constitution, which the Centre is against.

The Naga National Political Groups—an umbrella body of several other insurgent groups of Nagaland (including Konyak’s faction) that are in talks with the Centre—as well as civil society groups have maintained that they are open to a solution that does not involve a separate flag and constitution.

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