Naga insurgents overrun camp of breakaway faction in Myanmar

The attack was carried out by the Yung Aung faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) on the outfit’s Nyamlang Konyak-Niki Sumi faction on Sunday.

Published: 07th September 2020 04:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2020 04:54 PM   |  A+A-

The NSCN-K militants (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: A Naga insurgent group overran the general headquarters (GHQ) of a breakaway faction in Myanmar weeks after its leaders were “expelled” and they parted ways.

According to reports reaching here, the attack was carried out by the Yung Aung faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) on the outfit’s Nyamlang Konyak-Niki Sumi faction on Sunday. The NSCN-K’s Yung Aung faction is made up of mostly Myanmar Nagas.

Konyak, Sumi, and another leader Starson, all of them Indian Nagas, escaped unscathed. The attackers seized arms, ammunition, and ration and took control of the GHQ.

Official sources said they were corroborating the reports.

The three rebel leaders were expelled by the NSCN-K’s Yung Aung faction in July this year. Sumi was the outfit’s deputy commander-in-chief. The charges against him were that he had taken part in unauthorized meetings and committed financial irregularities. He is wanted by the National Investigation Agency in a terror-funding case.

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Konyak was serving as the staff officer-I (defence) and Starson was a kilonser (minister). Each Naga rebel group runs a parallel government that survives on multiple taxes collected from all and sundry.

According to security sources, the split has been mainly between Indian Konyak (tribe) Nagas. The NSCN-K’s Yung Aung faction won over a number of middle-ranked Konyak leaders, the sources said.

Meanwhile, cornered in Myanmar where most insurgent groups from India’s Northeast operate from, the three Naga leaders are likely to join the ongoing peace process. All except these two NSCN-K factions are engaged in the peace talks.

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The NSCN-K was formed in 1988 under the leadership of SS Khaplang, a Hemi (tribe) Naga from Myanmar. After his death in 2017, Khango Konyak had taken over as its chief but he was impeached the next year. This saw Yung Aung taking over as the chairman. Soon, Konyak and his loyalists formed a breakaway faction that joined the peace process last year.

A few years ago, some rebel groups under the banner of the Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups had come together to give a fillip to the peace process which started in 1997 when the NSCN’s Isak-Muivah faction (NSCN-IM) had signed a ceasefire agreement with the Centre. The outfit is a key player in the Naga peace negotiations.

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