Treading Cautiously On The Final Naga Peace Agreement

This week, we will look at the Naga peace process, another important area of achievement for the government, which is at a standstill. This is due in part to the government`s hype since 2015 and the complexity of the issue. There is also the cunning of some key players. And now, the general bifurcation since December due to popular protests against the Citizenship Act( 2019), the National Register of Citizens, and a government engaged in the race to catch up bellicose and focusing on the upcoming elections to meetings in Delhi and Bihar after losses in Maharashtra and Jharkhand. On Thursday, a team of 11 NSCN-IM leaders, led by “ato kilonser (prime minister)” and chief negotiator Thuingaleng Muivah, met with RN Ravi, interlocutor of the Naga peace talks, in Dimapur to discuss the subject. Sources said there would be further discussions in the coming days. Although he did not attend the meeting called on Thursday, senior NSCN-IM official and deputy Kilonser Kehoi said the Indian government was trying to “deceive” the Naga people without intending to elaborate on the differences. Like most of the Prime Minister`s “particular” announcements, this turned out to be a wet squib. What was signed was not the final agreement, but only a framework agreement with one of the political groups, and even that was not made public.

Instead of carrying out the dialogue with the government, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) (NSCN-IM) hesitated. It was unclear that the subject would fall off the prime minister`s radar sooner rather than later. The completion of the draft agreement acceptable to the Nagaland Social Nationalist Council (Isak-Muivah) and the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) is ongoing. On July 16, the interlocutor of the Naga Peace Talks, R.N. Ravi and NSCN (I-M) were scheduled to meet, but the meeting was postponed. In 2015, the Indian government and NSCN (IM) signed the historic “framework agreement” to find a possible solution to the Indo-Naga problem. The agreement was signed by R.N. Ravi, the interlocutor of the Naga talks, and T. Muivah of the NSCN (IM) in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Details of the framework agreement were first presented in 2018 to the Rajya Sabha as part of the 213th report of the Parliament`s Standing Committee on Home Affairs on the security situation in the northeast. The Committee was informed that the agreement concerned the recognition by the Government of India of the uniqueness of Naga`s history and that a special agreement was to be concluded with the Nagas.

With regard to the issue of special status, the Committee indicated that status similar to article 371A could be granted to Nagas outside the State of Nagaland, with few local derogations. Third, the small factions of Nagaland origin did not need the mediation of the NSCN-IM to join the peace process. They had to wait for their respective communities or New Delhi to put them on the negotiating table, which finally happened in 2017, much to the chagrin of NSCN-IM. . . .

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