India: Naga armed group commits to ban landmines, sexual violence and child recruitment
14 July 2014
On 10 July 2014, the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Nagaland/National Socialist Council of Nagaland (GPRN/NSCN)-Khole-Kitovi signed Geneva Call’s three Deeds of Commitment on protecting children in armed conflict, banning anti-personnel mines, and prohibiting sexual violence and against gender discrimination.
The GPRN/NSCN, which is in a ceasefire with the central Government, is fighting for the self-determination of the Naga people. Through these signatures, the GPRN/NSCN publicly confirms its commitment to protect civilians from the effects of armed conflict.
In particular, the GPRN/NSCN pledges not to allow children under 18 to be recruited or used in hostilities and to ensure everything is done to provide children access to education and other services. In a region where cases of sexual violence have been reported, the GPRN/NSCN also reaffirms its determination to strictly prohibit any form of sexual violence and to work towards eliminating gender discrimination. Lastly, the GPRN/NSCN also commits not to use anti-personnel mines or victim-activated explosive devices.
“Today, the civilian population suffers and faces so many untold hardships. Children are exploited and women are dehumanized. By signing the Deeds of Commitment, the GPRN/NSCN shows its commitment to respect and take up this challenge to protect the civilian population,” said Chungkhojang Singson, Convener of the National Political Advisory Committee of the GRPN/NSCN. As part of this process, the GPRN/NSCN will ensure that the obligations within each Deed of Commitment are disseminated to all members and communities, and are mainstreamed in its regular training curriculum.
“Geneva Call and its partners will continue to engage armed groups in the region. The GPRN/NSCN is the fourth armed group in North-East India to formally adhere to specific humanitarian norms with Geneva Call, which we hope will lead to more groups coming on board, thus making the region a safer place for civilians,” declared Katherine Kramer, Geneva Call’s Programme Director for Asia.
The Kuki National Organization, the Zomi Re-unification Organization and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isaac Muivah), all of them active in the same region, previously signed one or more of Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment over the past few years.