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Talks with militant groups upgraded to political level: Zoramthanga

Sunday, June 14, 2015

/ Published by VIRTHLI
AIZAWL: With the signing of ceasefire between the centre and the eight Mizo insurgent groups under the banner of United People's Front (UPF) on Tuesday last, the talks with the groups was ungraded to political level from official level, according to former Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga.

Zoramthanga, who was present in Delhi during the signing of the Suspension of Operations (SoO) told PTI here today that delays in peace talks between the centre and the ethnic Mizo militant groups was harming mutual trusts between the two sides.

"Years have passed after signing SoO earlier, but without any formal parleys," he said, adding that the groups did not sign SoO during the last nine months making the situation explosive in the north east", he said. 

The former revolutionary leader said that he helped in brokering peace between the groups and the government of India without actually participating in the talks. 

He said that his main role was to create mutual trust between the groups and the centre, lacking due to prolonged hostilities between the two sides. 

"I did not want to be called as interlocutor or as any official mediator as my main role was to build mutual trust between the two sides," he said. 

The UPF constituents were the Kuki National Front (KNF), Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRO), Kuki Revolutionary Army (United), Zomi Defence Force (ZDF), United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF), Kuki Revolutionary Front (KRF), Zomi Defence Volunteers (ZDV) and Hmar People's Convention (Democrats), he said. 

The militant groups headed by UPF chairman S T Thangboi were represented by leaders of the groups while the centre was represented by Ministry of Home Affairs officials headed by Sambhu Singh, joint secretary (north east) of the MHA. 

Earlier, Zoramthanga, went to Myanmar and Bangkok two times to broker peace between the Myanmar government and 17 ethnic-based insurgent groups in that country. 

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