NSCN-K faction open to Naga peace talks

Khango Konyak group in India on expulsion from Myanmar

A breakaway group of the outlawed National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) on Monday said that the outfit was keen on pursuing the Naga peace process that it had abandoned three years ago. The group led by Khango Konyak, an Indian Naga who was the chairman of the NSCN-K until his impeachment by the Myanmar-based Nagas in August, in a statement said the decision followed an appeal by the Centre and the people of Nagaland. Hounded out of the NSCN-K’s camp in Myanmar’s Sagaing division, Mr. Konyak and his followers, numbering fewer than 100, had crossed over to Nagaland almost a month ago.

They had been staying in a village in the State’s Mon district with the knowledge of the security forces. Mr. Konyak’s group, claiming to represent the NSCN-K, said it took note of the “positive vibes” from the Centre for resuming the peace process that began with the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the outfit and the Union government in 2001.

Ceasefire deal

Its rival group, the Isak Muivah faction of the NSCN (NSCN-IM), entered into a similar ceasefire deal in 1997. The NSCN-K walked out of its 14-year-old ceasefire in March 2015 when its founder, S.S. Khaplang, was its chairman. Mr. Konyak was made the chairman after Mr. Khaplang’s death in June 2017. But a tussle between the Indian and Myanmar-based Nagas saw Mr. Khaplang’s nephew Yung Aung taking over. The Centre had been insisting on having all Naga extremist groups on board before a final settlement of the Naga political issue.

Six such groups were included in the peace process a year ago. Though the Konyak-led group was not numerically significant, security agencies believed that making the outfit a part of the peace process would send a signal to Nagas of Myanmar that they do not fit into the big picture. “We should grab every opportunity to settle the issue,” a senior officer of a security agency said.

Source:https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/nscn-k-faction-open-to-peace-talks/article25489468.ece

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