Thailand wishes all of the Brn Rebel Group to join Southern peace talks



Thailand's military government on Wednesday urged all elements of the most severe separatist group in the national deep south to touch Malaysia-broked peace talks.

Prag Wongswuan, the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense chief, said that all parties within the National Revolutionary Front Bible group, or bar, should participate in negotiations to hold an insurgent that struck nearly 7,000 people in the past 14 years.

"Most of the insurgent movements have joined the talks, but the bar is the only one that did not connect," Praia told reporters.

The attempt is probably referring to the BRN's military wing.

"The political wing has joined," he said. "We want all the movements to come out so we can talk."

It is very unusual for a top Thai government official to mention the BRN by name, analysts said. Tae officials usually refer to South rebels as "disadvantages."

Last week, Udomchai Thammasarorat, Thailand's new chief negotiator in the peace process, said the Buddhist-majority nation was open to holding talks with "all dissident groups."

The statement was made following a meeting with Malaysian Defense Minister Mahamad Sabu, who was waving his two-day visit to Bangkok on Wednesday.

The deep south encompasses the predominantly Muslim and Malawal-speaking provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and four districts of Songhla province and lies along the peninsular Malaysia's northern border.

The statement was made following a meeting with Malaysian Defense Minister Mahamad Sabu, who was waving his two-day visit to Bangkok on Wednesday.

Malaysia is facilitating peace talks between the Thai government and Mara Patani – an umbrella group that claims to negotiate all the South Bible groups and includes bargaining representatives on its panel.

Earlier, Mahamad Sabo told reporters that his first official visit to Thailand would focus on the resulting South Sudden conflict. Many residents in the southern suburbs have family ties with Malaysians, especially living in the border between Perlis, Kelantan and Kedah.

"What happens in southern Thailand affects both countries, which is why we must find the best resolution, negotiations, defense diplomacy and various other measures," Mohamad Sabu told the service of Malaysian Bernama on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Mahomad Sabu spent about 45 minutes discussing bilateral security concerns with the Thai Prime Minister Pivitut Chan-o-Cha at Government House in Bangkok, Lt. General Verachon Sukhondhapatipak, deputy government spokesman, told reporters.

Last month, the Bangkok Daily the Nation cited unidentified brun members as saying that their leaders are not interested in joining Mara Patani at the negotiating table and warning that Malaysia could risk compromising its role in the talks.

"The so-called peace practitioners, domestic and foreign, could go along with the smart strategy of Thailand without realizing that they were playing," one brun operative said, according to the newspaper.

Brong members also expressed concern that pressure from Malaysia to get them to the table may shake peace in the long run, the report said.


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