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Thailand eyes next moves in southern peace talks

Military leaders and Islamist insurgents must compromise to end violence

| Thailand
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Thai army soldiers search the area of a roadside bomb blast in the southern province of Pattani, Thailand, June 19, 2017.   © Reuters

Four years on from the launch of peace talks aimed at ending a separatist insurgency in Thailand's three southernmost provinces, progress is moving at a snail's pace. Some critics say that both the Thai government and Islamist militants appear to be going through the motions of a bogus peace process.

Both sides need to find a fresh approach. Divisions among the insurgents need to be overcome, allowing collective negotiations with the Thai government, and the ruling junta needs to stop ignoring the cultural and historical grievances between the population of the South and the Thai state. There must also be justice for innocent civilians killed and injured by both sides.

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