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Sun, 25 Feb 2018

Northeast Today

NSCN-K Not Yet Decided on Signing Ceasefire Deal with Myanmar

NSCN-K Not Yet Decided on Signing Ceasefire Deal with Myanmar
September 19
12:29 2015

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) has not decided whether it will sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the Myanmar government, an official told The Myanmar Times last week.

The NSCN-K is not part of the 16-member National Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), which is negotiating with the Myanmar government on behalf of armed ethic groups, but can sign the NCA. The government hopes the NCA will be signed in the first week of October, officially ending more than 60 years of more-or-less constant civil war.

U Chowang Sing, the head of the NSCN-K’s peace committee who met the government’s chief negotiators minister U Aung Min and U Thein Zaw, a member of Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC), at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon on Thursday, said the group has yet to make its decision on the NCA.

“The NSCN-K has not yet decided if we are signing the NCA or not,” he said. “We will decide after sitting at a top-level meeting within our group.” The NSCN-K is the only armed group that has fronts in both India and Myanmar. The NSCN-K is based in Namyun township in the Naga self-administered zone within the upper part of Sagaing Region.

The group agreed on a ceasefire with the government on April 9, 2012, one year after President U Thein Sein took office. There had been no clashes between the two sides since 2010 and none have broken out since the ceasefire agreement was made.

However, the group has been involved in fighting against the Indian government along the border. In the 20 months that the government has been negotiating with armed groups, the NSCN-K has participated as an observer in more than five meetings between the government’s UPWC and the NCCT. Three other armed groups engaged in fighting with the Tatmadaw that have not signed bilateral ceasefires – the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Arakan Army – are not allowed to sign the NCA.

Previously, the NSCN-K had stated that it would sign the ceasefire accord but would not engage in the resultant political dialogue, a commitment that signatories have to participate in after the signing of the NCA. This position surprised observers and other stakeholders in the peace process.

It is believed that the NSCN-K’s position stems from the difficulty of reaching a consensus within the group.
“As we have observed the NCA process, we have noted that conditions are different than what we expected,” said U Chowang Sing. “We have our own problems in our group. So, the inability to reach a consensus for political dialogue means we would prefer not to be involved in political dialogue,” U Chowang Sing said on September 16.

It has been reported that fighting between NSCN-K fighters and Indian government troops has been continuous since a 14-year-long ceasefire agreement broke down in March.

-Myanmar Times

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