Tuensang turmoil: Church calls for ‘forgiveness’ & ‘reconciliation’
Dimapur, February 19
The Nagaland Baptist Church Council and the Peace Coalition of North East India (PCNI) have called for ‘forgiveness,’ ‘reconciliation’ and peaceful resolution for the ongoing communal conflict in Tuensang district.
The church organizations issued a statement on Wednesday lamenting that tensions continue in spite of ‘attempts’ made by the church to diffuse the situation. The Baptist organization has appealed to ‘all the stakeholders’ to “consider any appropriate action that will lead to a solution that is credible, peaceful and timely for the sake of posterity.”
The NBCC noted with deep concern the continuing tension and ‘humanitarian situation’ in Tuensang “despite the attempt made by the NBCC, different local churches and organizations to bring the situation under control.” The council denounced the loss of lives, properties and injuries caused “so far” and called upon all contending parties to refrain from further violence.
During the second week of January, a team of church leaders from the NBCC met with the leaders of the Chang and Yimchungru communities. The team had appealed for cessation of any form of violence, and to allow space for dialogue and peaceful means to resolve the issued.
“The leaders had expressed their mutual aspiration for peace. Accordingly, the council had offered the readiness of its offices to facilitate the peace process. This was accentuated with the appeal to the churches to extend relief for the people who are homeless,” the NBCC stated
To strengthen and coordinate peace initiatives, the council has formed a committee and various constituent associations have been assigned to visit the two communities “with the message of forgiveness and reconciliation,” the council said.
“Selected churches have also been asked to extend further relief for the suffering people. The council once again appeals to all the stakeholders to consider any appropriate action that will lead to a solution that is credible, peaceful and timely for the sake of posterity,” the press release stated.
The NBCC has appealed to believers to fervently ‘pray for divine intervention in the present imbroglio.’
Peace Coalition of Northeast India
Also, the Peace Coalition of North East India has appealed for peace amongst the ‘conflicting parties’ in Tuensang. The organization issued a message on Thursday stating that violence begets only violence and that there were ‘no victors in violent conflicts.’
“Peacefully resolving through mutual dialogue and fostering the Christian spirit of peace is the way to resolving any dispute in sustainable manner. We also appeal to the district administration and concern departments, civil societies, and churches to do all they can to prevent recurrence of such conflicts and mediate on the issues to restore normalcy and better understanding among the different conflicting communities,” the message added.