SOLYMONE BLOG

4000 T0 5000 AKTIVE INSURGENTS IN S.THAILAND


The insurgency in southern Thailand is not about Islamic jihad or the global "war on terror" but is rooted in the desire of southern Muslims to control their land
BANGKOK, Thailand: There are about 4,000 to 5,000 active insurgents in the restive provinces in southern Thailand, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said Thursday.
Despite that, he said a solution to the conflict was not in using force but in creating better understanding with the local people, providing them with better education and quality of life, and justice.
"The militants are still active as they can still carry out violent activities. They even get financial support from other countries. So we have to look at various issues to solve the
problem," he told the local media.
Suthep, who is in charge of security affairs, said not much was being done to solve the unrest that had killed more than 3,500 people since separatists resumed armed conflict in January, 2004 to seek independence for the three Muslim-majority provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala.
Bangkok has despatched more than 20,000 soldiers to end the turmoil, but faces difficulties as separatist groups involved are using guerilla tactics, especially road side bombings, arson and drive-by shootings.
Militant
groups emerged in the 1970s during the armed struggle by ethnic Malays in the three Muslim-majority provinces seeking independence from Thailand.
Peace was restored in the last decade but violence escalated when separatists resumed a campaign of bombings and shootings in January, 2004 after a raid on an army camp.

Courtesy: BERNAMA
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