Naga Group Join Hands, Accord Before Elections?
Two delegations of Naga political groups including the NSCN IM are in Delhi for talks with central interlocutor Mr A K Mishra.
There is a glimmer of hope that a Naga accord may be in the offing prior to Christmas, the principal festival for the Nagas.
One of the factors that is adding to expectations is the frustration of the Naga people at large devoid of a solution which may manifest in lack of participation in the State elections to be held in 2023. NSCN IM is also facing the heat of the public ire.
At the meeting with the Core Committee on Naga Political Issue (CCoNPI), Home Minister Amit Shah, advised the Nagaland delegation to impress upon the NSCN (I-M) on signing the final agreement.
Talks in Delhi
In Delhi, Centre’s emissary for Naga peace talks and former additional director of Intelligence Bureau, A K Mishra, held a series of meetings with Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) to break the stalemate.
The outfit said the time has come for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to meet the Naga people’s aspirations as per the August 2015 Framework Agreement (FA) signed between the Centre and NSCN (IM). The team of NSCN IM is led by top leader V S Atem “After listening to the Naga people’s wishes and extensive deliberations, we decided to resume talks with GoI (Government of India) during a meeting on September 13 at Hebron (the NSCN-IM’s designated headquarters),” one of the team members said, seeking anonymity as per Nagaland Post.
UDA chairman TR Zeliang informed that the NSCN (I-M) agreed to resume talks after the Core Committee on Nagaland Political Issue (CCoNPI) had made the request. With clamor for early solution growing louder the government of India appears to be assessing the situation in Nagaland were holding of election before solution is being opposed. Most parties have kept on hold election related exercises and campaigns.
A team of the Working Committee of NNPGs delegation is also in Delhi to hold talks with Government of India’s representative for Naga talks, AK Mishra. Working Committee (WC) of the seven–member Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) has however decided to “prevent the forthcoming election under any circumstances to prevent election without solution”. Responding to a question whether the seven NNPGs were ready to cooperate with NSCN (I-M) for inking a final solution, the NNPG spokesperson claimed, “It has always been the desire of all the revolutionary negotiating parties to come together, join hands and have a final inclusive solution,” as per Nagaland Post.
September Joint Accordant
Importantly the NSCN IM and the NNPGs issued a joint statement on September 28th which is now known as September Joint Accordant. As per E Pao the contents are as follows:-
September Joint Accordant by NSCN/GPRN and NNPGs
SEPTEMBER JOINT ACCORDANT
In the spirit of belonging, we the undersigned met in the presence of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, in the interest of pursuing genuine understanding among the Nagas and incrementally progressing forward. Hence, we jointly resolve the following:
I. THE "COVENANT OF RECONCILIATIiON" (CoR) of June 13, 2009-signed by the late Isak Chishi Swu, late SS Khaplang, and Brig (Retired) S. Singnya-will be honored in letter and in spirit. Hence, we renew "to work together in the spirit of love," and desist from all forms of armed violence and refrain from indulging in violence of words through print and social media among Naga Political Groups and the general public.
From this time forth, in order to chart a path forward, we remain committed to "peace and respect and to resolve outstanding issues among us" (CoR)
II. WE ARE AWARE OF OUR DIFFERENCES and hence will guard ourselves against rifts that further divide us. We are committed to finding ways to transcend our differences through cooperation, to be worked out in future meetings, on the basis of the COR. In this regard, we understand that cooperation which is socially and politically imaginative and prudently concrete is nation building begun.
III. WE URGENTLY APPEAL TO ALL INDIVIDUALs AND ORGANIZATIONS to refrain from all forms of rhetoric, assumptions and agendas that are divisive. Such a culture must end immediately. In this regard, churches, educational institutions, civil society organizations and conscientious individuals must take the charge to lead with faithful discernment.
We are committed to a dialogue in order to move forward, live in peace and overcome the cynicism, anxiety, and disagreements that have caused us to see each other as foes and strangers, rather than members of the same family.
We solemnly affirm the offer of togetherness from God in Christ. This is the Naga belonging renewed and restored with God and with each other.
Gen (Retired) V. S. Atem, Collective Leadership, NSCN/GPRN
Mr. Alezo Venuh, Co-ordinator,, Working Committee, NNPG
Facilitator: Forum for Naga Reconciliation
Union Home minister Amit Shah has put the ball back in the court of the state legislators over the latter’s plea for securing early solution to the Naga political issue.
With the NSCN IM and the NNPGs united in their approach the Central interlocutor will have a challenge in achieving a breakthrough. Much will depend on whether the NSCN IM is willing to walk back on the demand for a separate Constitution and flag.