Indian government, northeast separatists sign peace agreement

NEW DELHI, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) — The Indian government and a northeast separatist group in the state of Nagaland on Monday signed a peace agreement to end the six- decades conflict, said officials.

The government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland- IM agreed to bring peace to the state bordering Myanmar which has seen a low-intensity war between government forces and rebels.

The accord was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who described it as historic, said Indo-Asian News Service.

“The Naga political issue had lingered for six decades, taking a huge toll on generations of our people,” Modi said when the agreement was signed.

He also hoped the agreement will open “a glorious new chapter for the Naga people to build a bright future for Nagaland”.

The Naga agreement was the second major initiative in the northeast region, following the peace accord between the government and the Mizo National Front in 1986 in Mizoram state.

NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah signed the accord on Monday at the ceremony held at the prime minister office.

The 81-year-old Naga leader has been in talks with the overnment since 1997 after a ceasefire was signed.

However, some Naga rebel groups have opposed the peace process and continued to stage attack against government forces at the India-Myanmar border.

A Naga rebel group killed a dozen Indian soldiers last month, triggering a retaliation by the Indian army who killed some rebels and destroyed their camps in a cross-border operation into Myanmar territory.

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