Army to continue peace talks with insurgents

national August 06, 2014 01:00

By Pakorn Puengnetr
The Nation

POST-COUP efforts to cope with insurgency in the deep South are well advanced under a set of new policies.

The policies are centred on continued dialogue with the separatist movement while delivering centralised tactical operations and security measures under the supervision of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Region 4.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will use the current framework designed by the pre-coup National Security Council (NSC) leaders for another year, security sources revealed. But key policies will be reassessed on a flexible basis after 2015 under the next framework.

This is in accordance with a military spokesman’s statement made after last week’s meeting of the Committee to Drive Forward Problem-Solving for the Southern Border Provinces, which was set up by the NCPO on July 21.

The meeting also concluded that four sub-panels would be set up to work under the committee to determine how the work would be conducted and done, the sources said.

One of the sub-panels is tasked with holding dialogue with insurgent groups, either openly or privately, and another is tasked with legal issues relating to lawsuits and court cases linked to insurgent violence.

The other two involve creating understanding with local communities and encouraging insurgents to give up violence.

The chief negotiator and other members in the first sub-panel would be selected by the prime minister.

New or different negotiators would be assigned to join talks depending on changes to subjects that come up in future meetings.

The ISOC Fourth Region’s forward command in the far South, which is under the direct supervision of the Fourth Army Region commander, will be assisted by the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre. The SBPAC will handle commission-supervised development projects.

The commission consists of 20 members who are mostly permanent secretaries, and has already held three meetings and agreed to hold meetings twice a month.

The commission is led by General Udomdej Sitabutr, a deputy Army commander and the NCPO secretary-general. Its structure is divided into seven areas under the supervision of various agencies.

Security measures and tactical operations are under ISOC, although the Defence Ministry is ultimately responsible. The ISOC will get help from the police and Interior Ministry.

Legal issues, lawsuits and court cases are under the Justice Ministry while public relations and foreign affairs overseen by the Foreign Ministry.

The Education Ministry is responsible for issues regarding inter-religions, culture and education, with the Interior Ministry steering social development and human security.

Under the commission’s structure, improving the efficiency of state authorities is also being tackled while the NSC, with the assistance of the ISOC, is driving policies and alternatives to violent means.


Most view