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Govt, NSCN (K) favour truce

The Centre has decided to extend ceasefire with Khaplang group of NSCN for a year and continue the dialogue process.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 05, 2004 07:56 PM IST

With an intent to involve the insurgent faction in Naga peace process, the Centre has decided to extend ceasefire with the Khaplang group of National Socialist Council of Nagaland for another year from Thursday and continue the dialogue process, official sources said on Tuesday.

After three days of discussions between the two sides here, the Union Home Ministry has decided to renew the ceasefire between security forces and NSCN (Khaplang), which first became operational from April 28, 1991.

An official notification to this effect is likely to be issued on Wednesday, the sources said.

The ceasefire between security forces and the other faction of the outfit led by Issak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, is already in force.

At the discussions, the NSCN (K) delegation, which included their members in the ceasefire monitoring board like chief representative C Sinsong Kuki, expressed eagerness to continue the peace process and the ceasefire.

The insurgents said they saw the process as a step forward in ensuring and maintaining peace and stability in the region.

The home ministry also planned to reciprocate their gesture by agreeing to extend the ceasefire by one more year, the sources said, adding it would take forward the Centre's efforts to arrive at a permanent solution to the Naga problem.

However, the sources said it was still too early to start a full-fledged dialogue with the Khaplang group and have a reconciliation between it and the major faction led by Issak and Muivah.

The sources said the steps taken so far by the Centre on the Naga issue were "a clear expression of its commitment and determination to resolve the problem in the larger interests of the people of Nagaland" and added that the Naga leaders of both factions had shown "political wisdom and maturity" by continuing with the ceasefire agreement.

The Khaplang faction had conducted prolonged parleys with the representatives of the Centre before arriving at an agreement on April 11, 2001, to hold talks and cease violence.

A ceasefire supervisory board, comprising five representatives each of Centre and NSCN (K), was set up at these talks and the ground rules for the ceasefire finalised.

The Khaplang faction suffered a serious setback late last year when the Myanmar army ran over its camps, including the headquarters. Most of the top leaders of the faction, however, escaped the onslaught but a few were killed or captured.

Since then, the NSCN(K) has been in disarray and are now facing threats from NSCN (I-M), with a large number of their cadres joining the latter.

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