NSCN IM AR Standoff

Naga News | Morung Express News | Dimapur | April 29

In the first official press statement issued by the security establishment since the standoff between the 27 Assam Rifles and the NSCN (IM) began on April 26 in Sihai village, Ukhrul, the Defence PRO, Kohima maintained that the NSCN (IM) has violated the Ceasefire Ground Rules.

The Defence PRO, Col. C Konwer, stated, “some suspected temporary hutment type structures were observed in the forest, in general area Sihai Khunou/Khamasom, Ukhrul” during routine aerial reconnaissance on April 25.

Ground surveillance by troops “confirmed the existence of an unauthorised camp of the NSCN (IM) in that area” subsequent to which information was relayed through the villagers to the cadres to vacate the camp immediately, the release said.

The NSCN (IM), however, did not give a definitive statement on the status of the camp.

Convenor of the NSCN (IM)’s Ceasefire Monitoring Cell (CFMC), Kraibo Chawang, told the media today in Dimapur that the cadres reported to be camping near Sihai were compelled by situation to station there.

Chawang made the comments following an internal Ceasefire Review Committee meeting at its CFMC office, Diphupar.

According to him, three erstwhile “noted” camps of the NSCN (IM) in Khangkhui Shirui, Chatric and Grihang were vacated through mutual understanding earlier.

“Should our boys move out of Sihai, we should be allowed to go to Khangkhui Shirui designated camp,” he said, while adding it will be the responsibility of the Government of India should anything go wrong and “we have accordingly informed all our designated camps.”

He added that he had written a letter to the CFMG Chairperson to allow its cadres to return to the Shirui camp.

He further maintained that the problem was never from NSCN (IM)’s side but from GoI side adding, “We are in search of peace and want to be friendly and earnestly looking for solution.”

In Delhi, a similar meeting was said to have been held between the two sides, the outcome of which was yet to be known till the filing of this report.

The PRO Defence, meanwhile, stated that the Inspector General of the Assam Rifles briefed the Ceasefire Monitoring Group (CFMG) Chairperson about the situation on April 26 and the latter followed up with issuing instruction on April 27 to vacate the camp.

While stating that the camp, as on April 27 morning, was not vacated, it added that villagers were again sent to the camp on April 28 to meet one Lt. Col. David Rambo, who was said to be “awaiting instructions from Hebron.”
“Despite extreme restraint shown by Assam Rifles troops, no action has been taken by NSCN (IM) to vacate the unauthorised camp,” the release said.

Sihai village is situated between border pillars number 123 and 125 bordering Myanmar, around 50 km from Ukhrul.

With regard to peace talks, Kraibo Chawang said that only two points remain to be discussed- separate flag and constitution.

~MExN

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