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Ceasefire Monitoring Group Plans 'Smooth Transition' of NSCN Groups after Signing of Naga Accord with Centre

A number of recent meetings and deliberations have helped build trust between the government and several NSCN groups. A decade ago, it was a different situation as the CFMG was ineffective in controlling insurgency-related incidents.

Karishma Hasnat | CNN-News18

Updated:November 15, 2019, 7:18 PM IST
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Ceasefire Monitoring Group Plans 'Smooth Transition' of NSCN Groups after Signing of Naga Accord with Centre
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat with senior military officers and CFMG chairman in Kohima on November 7.

Guwahati: The Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG), set up in 2001 to find a lasting solution for peace with Naga insurgent factions, is planning a “smooth transition” of the various National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) groups after the signing of the Naga Accord.

Several meetings and deliberations held recently helped build trust between the government and the NSCN groups. A decade ago, it was a different situation as the CFMG was ineffective in controlling insurgency-related incidents or revise the Ceasefire Ground Rules (CFGR) despite a ceasefire with the major factions.

The ceasefire has been on for 22 years – the NSCN-IM entered into a ceasefire with the government in August 1997, followed by the April 2001 ceasefire with NSCN-Khaplang (NSCN-K), and a re-negotiated ceasefire between NSCN-Khango and the government on April 15 this year.

Further, a ceasefire also continues between the Indian government and NSCN (Neopao Konyak-Kitovi) (NSCN-NK) and NSCN (Reformation), and the government had decided to extend the suspension of operation with NSCN-NK and NSCN-R for another year till April 27, 2020.

Recently, as part of the CFGR signed by NSCN groups, the CFMG (with NSCN-IM)/Ceasefire Supervisory Board (with other NNPGs) had asked Naga political groups to shut down “unauthorised offices” in Nagaland. The directive came after a series of meetings convened by CFMG/CFSB chairman, Lieutenant General Shokin Chauhan, in Kohima towards the end of October.

“It might not be at the right time for such a directive, but a positive step – some unofficial offices have been closed down. It shows that both the government and security forces want peace to return to the land. This is a good move,” said senior NSCN-U leader C Singson.

“At the end of the day, all camps would be redundant once the final solution is penned. The CFMG is also showing its teeth of late, which it ought to have shown earlier. The CFMG also knows that the end is near,” said political writer and retired IAS officer KK Sema.

The last meeting between the CFMG chairman and the NSCN-IM on October 15, which dwelt upon ceasefire monitoring and other ground rules, had ended on a “positive” note. The two sides had also discussed the issue of taxation on trade and commerce in Nagaland, with the NSCN-IM maintaining that “legitimate taxation” would continue. Concerns were also raised over the recruitment of cadres in NSCN continuing unabated.

There was no incident of violence by NSCN groups during the Lok Sabha elections in April and ceasefire violations have significantly reduced in Nagaland. Lt Gen Chauhan took over as CFMG chairman from DK Pathak on August 10 last year.

“The CFMG is a good body, and very effective. The Naga political system is unique. The Indian military knows everything and, in that respect, the opinion of CMFG is very important. We don’t fight anymore. We are okay with the CFMG,” said a Cabinet minister with the NSCN-IM.

The Naga peace talks between the Centre and the NSCN-IM appeared to have reached a conclusion on October 31. However, with the Centre dispelling rumours of a breakthrough in talks and stating that any settlement with Naga groups would be reached only after consultations with all stakeholders, including Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, people have been left wondering what happens next.

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