Indian government, key northeast rebel group sign peace deal

AP News
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Posted: Aug 03, 2015 11:05 AM

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's government signed a peace treaty on Monday with a key rebel group in the country's insurgency-wracked northeast.

The government's main negotiator with the rebels, R.N. Ravi, signed the accord in New Delhi with Thuingaleng Muivah, leader of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is aimed at ending a rebellion that has festered in India's Nagaland and Manipur states for more than six decades.

The two officials told a news conference that the accord was "historic," but gave no specific details about it.

The rebel group was fighting for an independent homeland for the Naga tribes. It is the oldest and strongest of about 30 rebel armies operating in the northeast since India's independence in 1947.

The group entered a cease-fire in 1997 but it then took nearly 18 years to reach a formal peace deal.