Imphal: The Global Naga Forum (GNF) has urged the United Nations and the international community to respond to the call of the Naga people for justice and peaceful co-existence.

The GNF appealed to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) mandate to call upon India and Myanmar to resolve the Naga issue in the spirit of justice and lasting peace.

The forum also stated that Naga people scattered in four Indian states and Myanmar be allowed to live together as one people with one destiny.

Speaking on behalf of the Nagas at the online 14th session of the regional meetings of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People on Tuesday, GNF secretary Professor Paul Pimono said that the Naga people’s position is clear that peaceful resolution of the Indo-Naga political issue will usher in an era of ‘new relationship with enduring peace with India,’ as well as Myanmar.

“Therefore, we appeal to the United Nations EMRIP mandate in collaboration with UNHRC and other mandate holders to put pressure on the Government of India by demanding the immediate repeal of the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act (AFSPA) of 1958 and Nagaland Disturbed Areas Act, a draconian anti-democratic legislation that violates all human decency and dignity,” said Pimono.

He further stated that the Naga people are transnational indigenous people with a population of over four million comprising 60 tribes and living in India and Myanmar. However, “we were arbitrarily divided and placed in different administrative units as minorities when the two countries became Independent from Britain in the late 1940s,” he added.

“The imposed separations have not only gravely affected our ties and ability to maintain the relationship among ourselves as an indigenous nation, but they contravene Article 36 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which says ‘Indigenous peoples, particular those divided by international borders have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders,’” said Pimono.

Also Read: Naga tribes cannot be misled anymore, says Working Committee of Naga political groups

He further stated that the Naga peoples’ struggle for self-determination has continued for more than seven decades.

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