Indian tribal separatists vow to pursue peace
GUWAHATI: An influential tribal separatist group in the northeastern state of Nagaland said the Indian government’s decision to extend a ceasefire which was to expire Monday had brightened hopes of an end to 56 years of insurgency.
Last week, New Delhi extended the ceasefire by a year following a meeting with the powerful S.S. Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN). “We shall utilize the ceasefire extension period to find a permanent solution to the vexed Naga problem,” K. Mulatonu, publicity chief of the NSCN (Khaplang), told AFP.
“The extension of the ceasefire is a prerequisite for taking forward the peace process and we welcome the move with all sincerity to enable a permanent solution to materialize,” the rebel leader said.
The NSCN (Khaplang) faction, fighting for an independent homeland for the tribal Nagas, had first entered into a ceasefire with the Indian government on April 28, 2001, with the aim of finding a peaceful solution to end five decades of violent insurgency.
A rival NSCN faction headed by guerrilla leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah is currently holding peace talks with the Indian government.—AFP