Is Southern Thailand Moving Toward Peace?

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Is Southern Thailand Moving Toward Peace?

Zachary Abuza of the National War College discusses the latest developments in long-running peace talks.

Recent weeks have seen stirrings of progress on the long-running conflict in southern Thailand. On February 7, the Thai government and representatives of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), the main insurgent group in the Deep South, agreed on a roadmap to try to end the region’s long-running conflict. After a pause in peace talks due to last year’s election in Thailand, the two sides say they are now “willing to put pen on paper,” as the Malaysian government’s mediator announced. The details of the plan still need to be hashed out in new rounds of technical talks between the two sides.

The Malay-Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand has lasted for decades, and since the beginning of peace talks in 2013, there have been many false dawns and reversals. Is a resolution of some kind now finally on the horizon?

The Diplomat’s Southeast Asia editor, Sebastian Strangio, talks with Zachary Abuza of the National War College in Washington, D.C. about the insurgency in southern Thailand and the prospects for lasting peace.