The working committees of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO) have signed a joint declaration to work together, as they separately negotiate political settlements with the Union of India.
This is the first time that Kuki and Naga militants have come out openly to work together since the bloody ethnic conflicts between the two communities in the early 90s.
A joint statement by NNPGs convener N Kitovi Zhimomi and KNO president PS Haokip said the declaration was signed between the two sides after a meeting in Imphal on January 10.
The statement said after thorough deliberation and discussion on the contentious political, social and inter-community matters prevailing for decades in Manipur, the two sides agreed to “work together closely in resolving difference through the democratic political process thereby the history and identity of one is respected and acknowledged by the other, now and in the future.”
The statement further said the two groups shall, from time to time, appraise each other of issues that can have socio-political ramifications for one community or the other.
Dr. Seilen Haokip, spokesperson of KNO, termed the development “the foundation of peace” between the Kukis and the Nagas.
“When two different political groups are keen on co-existence, naturally they converge towards building peace. We don’t want to be enemies with anyone. I hope others will also follow suit,” Haokip said.
NNPGs is an umbrella body of seven Naga militant outfits that have been holding talks with the Centre since 2017. The NNPGs comprises of NSCN(U), NSCN(R), NSCN (Khango), NNC (parent body), FGN, NPGN/NNC (NA) and NNC GDRN (NA).
Although the groups’ initial demand was sovereignty and territorial integration of Nagas, it had announced last year it was ready to sign a deal with the Government of India, as all issues have been touched upon during the several rounds of talks held.
The KNO is one of the two umbrella bodies of 17 Kuki militant outfits that is also currently holding peace talks with the Government of India. The demand of the group is a separate Territorial Council for Kukiland in Manipur.
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