50 years later, peace affirmed between villages

The ‘Peace Treaty Flag’ being hoisted by Mhondamo Ovung, CE of PHED at Wozuro. (Morung Photo)
Wokha | April 10 : Peace is requisite for humankind. Fifty years ago, villagers of Phiro and Phenshünyu were in conflict with each other; fear and fighting reigned in the lives of the area’s people considering the strain of antagonism between the two villages. The unrelenting character of both the villagers coupled with disputes over pockets of unmarked boundaries ignited fire between the two villages. There have been various forms of truce during sowing and harvesting seasons as a temporary measure but they did not bring lasting peace.
The last fierce fighting took place in 1950, reportedly caused by ‘propaganda’ spread by a young boy from one of the villages. This happened during a time when there was already an existing boundary disputes.
However, a 1954 ‘revival’ proved to be one of the most miraculous events that took place at Phiro (also reported in the neighboring village) that the Holy Spirit revealed through a vision to the Phiro church members to enter Phenshünyu village and seek reconciliation and forgiveness in to facilitate God’s blessings.
Following the vision from the Holy Spirit, a team of 40 members from Phiro village marched to Phenshünyu village where, surprisingly, the small Christian community in Phenshünyu village gave them a warm reception.
The wounds of the 1950 conflict remained fresh in the hearts of some seriously injured villagers, it is said, and they abused the Gospel team. However, the sacrifice and good leadership of one Toshalie Kemp is acknowledged as responsible for giving a sense of security and confidence to the Phiro Gospel team.
The people of the two villages witnessed ‘God’s constant love as another revival arrived at Phenshünyu village in 1959 engulfing the whole village during the hour of uncertainty especially with respect to their tumultuous relationship with Phiro village’. A peace treaty and a grand feast began first at Phiro village on 9 February 1961.
In fulfillment of the traditional and customary practices, it was agreed to have another get-together and the peace treaty was eventually reaffirmed.
A grand celebration commemorating 50 years of peace between the two villages was held yesterday at Phiro village. Thousands of people from Phenshünyu and other Rengma villages, invitees from various villages and organizations gathered at Wozhuro ground and celebrated the day with cultural dances, gift exchanges and adoption of common resolutions.
One Khudemo Odyuo believed to be the oldest man in Phiro village (104 years) invoked God’s blessings on Phenshünyu villagers and others stating that the day is a day God has specially blessed for the villagers of Phiro and Phenshünyu. During the celebrations people who were amongst the peace treaty mission of 1961, released pigeons as a sign of peace and goodwill signifying the bond between the
two villages.

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