Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)0 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.2.60 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.0 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.2.10 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.2.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Ethnic Malay militants have waged an insurgency against the Thai government since the 1940s, fighting for independent rule for Thailand’s Muslim-majority southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. For decades, the conflict was marked by low levels of violence before reaching a peak between 2004-2015.?
An escalation of conflict occurred in 2019, with an increasing government offensive against the insurgency in the lead-up to the March 2019 elections, which saw increased military engagement in the southern regions and detention of suspected insurgents. The most powerful insurgent group, Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) perpetrated multiple attacks against civilians, including the largest attack in the region since 2001. It is unclear the trajectory of the conflict in terms of peace dialogue and civilian protection, though in 2020, the BRN has committed to greater protection of children in conflict.?
Since 2004, the conflict has killed more than 7,000 people and injured over 13,000. Sporadic attacks by militants and military offensives against the insurgency continue to threaten the stability and security in Thailand’s southern region. Protection concerns are high. Militant attacks result in civilian casualties, temporary displacement, and limit movement around the southern provinces. Markets, schools, and hospitals have been targeted by militants, limiting access to these public spaces. Mine contamination is also especially heavy in the southern provinces after decades of conflict. Human rights violations are common, including arbitrary detention and use of force by authorities against suspected insurgents.?
There are no significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.
ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of COVID-19. Find more information related to the outbreak here.
The latest peace dialogue between the Royal Thai Government and the Mara Patani (Majlis Syura Patani, or Patani Consultative Council), an umbrella organisation of Malay-Muslim separatist fronts from southern Thailand, began in 2015. The dialogue is facilitated by Malaysia, but internal divisions on both sides and the refusal of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), the largest insurgent group in the region, to join has resulted in deadlock.?
Since the talks began, few achievements have been made, and the dialogue stalled in May 2018 as Malaysian elections and changes in leadership for the peace dialogues changed the context of the peace talks.?
Several rounds of talks were held in 2019, but there was little progress until January 2020, when the Government of Thailand announced an initial round of direct negotiations with the BRN had taken place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As of March 2020, a second round of talks with the BRN and the Royal Thai Government have been held, with the purpose of establishing a framework for a formal peace dialogue. It is not clear what role Malaysia will play as peace broker in upcoming negotiations.?
Information Gaps and Needs
There is no severity score for the conflict in southern Thailand due to information gaps. There is limited data regarding the affected population, humanitarian needs, or the severity of humanitarian conditions.