Kezoltsa/Kozürü/Kazing land conflict between SAPO, Mao Council, Maram Khullen remains unresolved

Kohima: Angami Public Organisation to hold meeting on the issue on 3 June 2023

BY | Friday, 2 June, 2023
SAPO volunteers during the ban of people from Mao community from its jurisdiction from December 2022 to March 2023

The long ongoing conflict between the Southern Angami Peoples Organisation (SAPO), the Mao Council and Maram Khullen on the Kezoltsa/Kozürü/Kazing has not been resolved till date after both Mao Council and SAPO rejected the verdict of the Tenyimia People’s Organisation (TPO).

SAPO rejected on asserting that the verdict was not in line with the traditional way of settling disputes over land whereas the Mao Council also retaliated the verdict expressing their dissatisfaction and displeasure over certain points.

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Speaking to Nagaland tribune, SAPO President Tepul Hopovi expressed his disappointment on the TPO for not taking further step and reviewing its verdicts for the issue early. He mentioned that after the rejection of the last verdict they had been waiting for a long time to bring solution before the Angami People organisation (APO) intervene to mediate between the conflict.

Hopovi had also mentioned that they had agreed to the endorsement given by the APO from withdrawing restriction of Mao movement, but the Mao Council had still not withdrawn their arm force from the area which was a great disappointment.

TPO President Timikha Koza conveyed that the conflict had been long overdue, and his team had also been stressing on the need to resolve the issue soon. He said a meeting had been called to all the President under TPO to address the issue, but it had been rescheduled due to some problem.

Koza reminded that the main aim is to keep peace between our people, protect our landscape, forest and the beautiful flora and fauna.

The Kezoltsa/Kozürü/Kazing forest area has been a bone of contention between three Naga tribal communities since the British administration imposed arbitrary borders across the area.

The conflict started when the three communities – Maram and Mao Nagas of Manipur, and Angamis of Nagaland started claiming ancestral ownership over the land. The Mao, Maram and the Angami Nagas have been at disagreement over this land since 1970s.

Mao Council president Saheni Loli stated that they rejected the verdict on the terms that the conflict is over customary rights.

Speaking to our correspondent, both parties affirmed that they are looking for positive outcome from the meeting which had been called on June 3 by the APO.

Read more: Will not part an inch of our traditional land towards encroachers, restriction of movement for Mao people will continue: SAPO

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