The Naga Framework Agreement: A Historical Overview
The Naga Framework Agreement was signed on 3rd August 2015 between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), marking a significant milestone in the peace process between the two parties. The agreement was signed in the presence of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and the NSCN-IM leadership led by its General Secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah.
The NSCN-IM is a Naga separatist group fighting for the independence of Nagaland, which was formed in 1980 after the merger of two Naga rebel groups. The Nagas are an ethnic group living in the northeastern region of India and also in parts of Myanmar.
The Naga conflict dates back to India`s independence in 1947 when the Nagas demanded a separate state. The demand for a separate state soon turned into an armed struggle, which continued for decades, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and displacement of countless people.
The peace talks between the Government of India and the Naga rebels started in 1997, but several rounds of negotiations failed to yield any outcome until the Naga Framework Agreement was signed in 2015.
The Naga Framework Agreement is considered a historic breakthrough in the peace process, as it recognizes the unique history, culture, and identity of the Nagas and envisages a peaceful co-existence of the Nagas within the Indian Union. The agreement also envisages the creation of a special administrative system for the Nagas, which would provide them with greater autonomy in the areas of culture, language, and customs.
The Naga Framework Agreement has been hailed as a bold and visionary step towards resolving one of the longest-running insurgencies in India`s history. The agreement was seen as a major achievement of the Modi government, which had made peace with the Naga rebels one of its top priorities.
However, concerns have been raised about the lack of transparency in the peace process and the absence of any public consultation on the agreement. Many Naga civil society groups have criticized the agreement for not addressing the core issue of sovereignty and for failing to involve all Naga groups in the peace process.
In conclusion, the Naga Framework Agreement is a significant milestone in the peace process between the Government of India and the Naga rebels. While there are concerns about the lack of transparency and inclusiveness, the agreement represents a new beginning in the relationship between the Nagas and the Indian Union, paving the way for a peaceful and prosperous future for the Nagas.