Author: Anders Engvall, Stockholm School of Economics On 28 February in Kula Lumpur, Thailand’s government signed an agreement to initiate peace talks between the Thai National Security Council and Barisan Revolusi Nasional-Coordinate (BRN-C), one of the major separatist groups in southern Thailand.
The talks are a step toward ending the long-running conflict, but there is still no ceasefire agreement, and a political settlement is far away. The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people and injured an additional 10,000 since 2004, according to the Deep South Watch at Prince of Songkhla Univeristy in Pattani. While there was a rapid escalation of violence during the initial phase of the conflict and after the military coup in 2006, violence has remained at a steady level for the past five years. Separatist violence is currently concentrated in three Malay-Muslim provinces — Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat — as well as four districts in neighbouring Songkhla.
A step toward peace in southern Thailand