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Southern Thai insurgency may become internationalised

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Subject

Risks associated with Thailand's southern insurgency.

Significance

Late last month, Malay-Muslim separatist insurgents in southern Thailand launched coordinated attacks across four provinces. Thailand’s southern insurgency, which was renewed in 2004, has to date been a local conflict, disassociated from international Islamist militancy. Countries across South-east Asia are facing security risks from Islamic State (IS)-affiliated groups.

Impacts

  • Signs of the insurgency becoming internationalised would raise the pressure on ASEAN to develop a coherent counterterrorism strategy.
  • Thailand’s military-led government will be preoccupied with curbing anti-junta protests ahead of the elections.
  • Violence in southern Thailand would not be a major threat to tourism in the country, with most tourist centres located elsewhere.

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