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India, NSCN/(K)Niki sign one-year ceasefire pact

File Photo of Niki Sumi speaking at the Sumi Baptist Church Zunheboto

The ceasefire agreement and agreed ceasefire ground rules were signed by Ministry of Home Affairs Additional Secretary Piyush Goyal for Indian side and Nikato Pilot Sumi Supervisor, CFSB and Abel Zingru Thuer for NSCN/(K)NiKi on Wednesday

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Special Correspondent

In yet another “move” nearly a year after deciding to revive the “ceasefire” with the Government of India-which it had unilaterally abrogated almost six years back (2015), the Niki led NSCN (K) has finally signed the formal “ceasefire” agreement for a year with the government of India on Wednesday in New Delhi.

According to a communiqué from Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, both the parties have mutually decided to enter into a “Ceasefire/Agreement” with effect from September 8 in order to bring about a lasting peace in the State of Nagaland with involvement of the Naga people.

The communiqué also stated that the “ceasefire” would be applicable for a period of one year with effect from September 8, 2021, to September 7, 2022, and it will be subject to adherence to the “Ceasefire Ground Rules” to be mutually agreed and signed by the two sides. It also stated that the “Ceasefire Ground Rules” will be subject to “mutual review” and amendment with the involvement of both the parties.

The Ministry of Home Affairs communiqué further stated that both the parties accordingly appended their signatures so as to give effect to the “ceasefire agreement.”

The signatories from the Nikki-led NSCN (K) included its Cease Fire Supervisory Board (CFSB) supervisor, Nikato Pilot Sumi, and member, Abel Zingru Thuer, while the Indian side was appended by Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI, Piyush Goyal.

Niki Sumi, on December 23, 2020, announced that his group, in order to facilitate the peace process, decided to revive the cease fire with the government of India.

In his statement issued in December, 2020, Niki said the faction had been striving for years to achieve an “honourable and acceptable” political solution to the Naga issue. He said NSCN/GPRN was also conscious of the overwhelming sentiments among Nagas for an early solution to the protracted issue.

“We expect Government of India to respond positively by honouring our decision as a confidence building measure in the larger interests of peace in Nagaland and Naga people in general,” the statement issued by Niki led NSCN read.

Also interacting with a group of people including some media persons on the outskirts of Dimapur, Nagaland, in January this year, Niki asserted that his group will take into confidence the wishes and desire of the Naga people for achieving an honourable and acceptable solution to the decades-old Naga political issue.

He further stressed that unity among the Nagas was paramount for any kind of lasting solution that would be acceptable to all. “If all the groups cannot come and sit together and the public representatives cannot bear witness, there is no point in having dialogue,” he had stated.

According to local reports, Niki also had maintained that the decision to join the peace talks or to revive the ceasefire was to fulfil the wishes and aspirations of the Nagas-to give peace a chance and not with the expectation that the Government of India withdraw the cases against him and added that his only wish was that Nagas unite.

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