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Another Naga outfit signs ceasefire pact, but won't surrender its arms

New Delhi, Mon, 30 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, April 30 (ANI): The Kitovi-Khole faction of the Naga Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) has signed the ceasefire agreement with the Central Government, but refused give up its arms before a final solution to the decades old Indo-Naga issue is reached.

Addressing media here, N.Kitovi Zhimoni, the Ato Kilonser (Prime Minister) of the Government's of the People's Republic of Nagaland (GPRN) -NSCN said: "We are ready to resolve all issues peacefully with the GoI (Government of India) within a democratic framework."

The year-long ceasefire came into effect from April 28 and a formal announcement of the peace talks is expected soon.

Supervisor C. Singson and "Lt. Gen" N.B. Neokpao signed on behalf of the NSCN outfit, while Shambhu Singh, Joint Secretary (North East) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, signed on behalf of the government.

Earlier on Friday, Joint Secretary Singh revealed that the Centre is positive about the outcome of the discussions that have taken place so far.

Zhimoni said: " The GPRN wants peace and is fully prepared for it, but if a solution is not drawn, we will continue with our struggle."

Though the faction did not reveal its demands, it hinted at bringing all Nagas living in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh under one political umbrella.

Zhimoni added that before starting talks, the faction would take people and civil society into confidence, unlike other Naga outfits who had ignored the views of their people and had not been transparent in their negotiations with the Central Government.

Though Thuingaleng Muivah and Issac Chisi Swu-led NSCN (IM) is conducting talks with the government at the highest level, the Kitovi Khole faction has refused to merge with them and demanded a separate platform for talks.

The Kitovi-Khole faction of the NSCN split from NSCN (Khaplang) in June last year. Their decision to come forward for talks has opened a new peace front. We took up arms to defend our rights, but they resulted in a loss of lives and have not brought any solution," claimed Zhimoni.

This agreement with Kitovi-Khole faction could have a major impact on Naga politics as both the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) faction and the NSCN (Kitovi-Khole) faction are now talking to the Centre.

Only the NSCN (Khaplang) faction continues to stay away, as it has not been able to renew a ceasefire agreement with the Centre.

Anil Bhat, an expert on the Northeast, said: "All these groups first need to stop their arms and drugs supply rackets if they are willing to achieve peace in the Northeast region."

He claimed that many of these groups are supplying arms to Maoists and other Northeast insurgent groups. By: Devesh Gupta (ANI)

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