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Thailand's peace process needs external help for fresh start

Fifteen-year insurgency in Malay-Muslim south has cost 7,000 lives

| Thailand
Security investigate the checkpoint which was attacked by insurgents in Pattani on July 24: any talks will face formidable hurdles.   © Reuters

After four years of fruitless talks, a peace dialogue to end a separatist insurgency in southern Thailand may be set to gain traction.

The new head of Thailand's peace dialogue panel announced on November 29 that the main Malay-Muslim militant organization behind 15 years of insurgency may soon come to the table -- a development that would give a new lease of life to the moribund process. Days later came a report that representatives of this group, Barisan Revolusi Nasional Patani Melayu, known as the BRN, recently met Thai officials in Berlin.

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