The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN(IM), on Monday elected Qhehezu Tuccu the next chairperson of the outfit. It also chose Tongmeth Wangnao to be the vice chairperson.

In a press release, the NSCN(IM) militant group said Tuccu and Wangnao were elected at the group’s National Hoho held on Monday. Both office-bearers will have a term of six years.

NSCN(IM) General Secretary Th Muivah declared Tuccu and Wangnao the chairperson and vice chairperson at the group’s Camp Hebron headquarters in Nagaland. “Nagas are not a lost people, because our forerunners like Imkong Meren and AZ Phizo took the right decision at the right time that Nagas will be the masters of themselves – their land and their future and Nagalim will be for Christ,” Muivah said before the declaration.

The chairperson’s post had been vacant since founder-chairperson Isak Chishi Swu died on June 28, 2016, PTI reported. The post of vice chairperson became vacant when Khole Konyak died on December 12, 2018.

Tuccu, who was born in 1945 and entered Naga militancy in 1980, is a relative of Swu. Wangnao, 60, began his militant activities in 1987.

The NSCN(IM) signed a ceasefire agreement with the Indian government in 1997, and entered negotiations with the Centre in 2017 to solve the Naga problem. However, a joint team of the Assam Rifles and the Indian Army destroyed three NSCN(IM) camps in June, during an operation in Motongsa village of Arunachal Pradesh.