February 27, 2013

Is Asia's Forgotten Revolt About to Explode?

Jonah Blank, CNN

AP Photo

Thailand's deep south has experienced periodic disturbances going back a century, but the past decade has been its bloodiest phase. There is no organizing command structure with the power to enforce discipline among loosely linked bands of young fighters (called juwae), and the line between political violence and mere criminality is often unclear. I have interviewed top-level officials from the Pattani United Liberation Organization and other rebel groups, but these aging, long-exiled figures admit they have little control over events on the ground. I have also interviewed commanders of the covert cells that carry out rebel attacks. They, too, acknowledge their inability to coordinate any sort of unified strategy, lacking rules of engagement or even a coherent set of demands.

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TAGGED: Pattani, Bacho, Thailand, Asia

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