TODAY -

Naga Peace talks: Onus on civil bodies NGBF, Sümi Hoho to ensure NNPG unity

Nirendra Dev *



The stakeholders in Delhi like the rest of India are keeping their fingers crossed. Will the Modi government return to power? Can there be a refreshed look at the north east region vis-a-vis the Act East Policy? Will it reap any dividend?

But no one is quite sure.

One source in the know of things says, "We should not be held guilty of complacency. We are maintaining a strict vigil.... the developments within the NNPG are also under scanner".

Asked whether the formal split now that the Kitovi-impeachment episode has brought could impact the three-decade long peace talks, the source said: ⁠”Despite the divisions, all groups in the NNPGs still stand by the Agreed Position".

However he sought to caution with all sincerity; and added: ⁠”It is none of Govt of India’s concern … but such differences within the NNPG will surely weaken their narrative before the Naga public".

The Narendra Modi government has drawn up a plan to bring peace to the volatile northeastern region housing the nation’s only three Christian-majority states after the mammoth national elections end.

"Peace in the northeastern states, including Manipur and the end of various conflicts, is a priority," said a source. The Prime Minister himself announced that he has already prepared a road map for the first 125 days.

On June 1, Saturday, the final and the seventh phase of elections to the 543-member Lok Sabha will be conducted and the results will be out on Tuesday, June 4.

On Thursday afternoon, days after N Kitovi Zhimomi staked claim to camp Khehoyi and the 'Prime Ministerial post' of the GPRN/NSCN, the Neokpao-Alezo-Samson camp reasserted the ouster of its former Ato Kilonser. Top leaders of the GPRN/NSCN addressed the media at its Council Headquarters Khehoyi on May 30 asserting that the impeachment and subsequent expulsion of Kitovi Zhimomi was final.

Two days earlier, Kitovi announced the formation of GPRN/NSCN (Unification).

"We have chosen Unification as we stand for Naga unification...others are busy pulling, pushing and removing genuine leadership by hook or crook," Kitovi told this journalist over phone.

The Alezo-Samson camp says Kitovi may be taken back if he agreed to work under President General (retired) M B Neokpao Konyak and Alezo Venuh as Ato Kilonser. The MIP also said that Zhimomi was impeached and expelled on grounds of acting contrary to the Yehzabo (Constitution). It said that his unilateral decisions and dictatorial style of functioning created dissension.

It reasserted Zhimomi’s removal as based on “democratic principle as per Party discipline and Yehzabo (Constitution).”

The fresh developments in Nagaland vis-a-vis N Kitovi Zhimomi and the GPRN/NSCN are being analysed based on merits and taking into consideration all pros and cons, sources in Delhi say.

No internal conflict among players in the NNPG can have any positive impact. Hence, those who wish well to the Naga community in general and the state of Nagaland in particular should try to bury their mutual differences. It goes without stating that the NNPG should present a united face.

But as of now such unity is seemingly impossible. Things have reached a stage, where everyone concerned is asking, "Who'll bell the cat?"

From a neutral position; one can say the onus now should be on some of the well known civil society organisations such the Naga Gaon Burra Federation (NGBF). Well, in the past too the NGBF and other organisations like the Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) had played important roles.

Media can perhaps sincerely exhort the organisations such as CNTC, Sümi Hoho, Western Sümi Hoho and a few others including NTC and NGBF to come forward to "resolve the differences" between Kitovi and the Alezo-Samson camp.

To be more specific, one can say these organisations probably need to be pragmatic to appreciate that differences between two sides are deep enough though personal in nature. They can explore how Kitovi should continue to play a role in the ongoing talks between the Govt of India and NNPGs based on Agreed Position.

One reason for this is simple, Kitovi has been talking to the Government's negotiators for so long and to have a new person to do that job may only add to certain complexities.

The government of India is aware of various pros and cons and would still hope that things are maintained cool and calm. They insist nothing should be allowed to unfold that would delay the final peace pact and Solution to the Naga political issue.

In 2019, within two and half months after being sworn in as the Prime Minister; Mr Modi acted fast and had abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

On May 29th, the Prime Minister told an election rally in Odisha:"In the six months after June 4, the country will catch a new pace of development. Six months will bring a big storm in politics".


* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 03 June 2024

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