Violence in insurgency-hit Southern Thailand has seen an increasing trend in recent years, according to security expert Anusorn Tamrong. In 2022, over 800 people were killed and wounded in the conflict, according to the International Crisis Group. This spike in violence is attributed to an increase in militant activity, fueled by decades of protracted conflict in the region. In 2020, there were 514 fatalities, with the majority caused by shootings, bombings, and arson attacks.
Anusorn Tamrong, director of research and policy at Deep South Watch, said that despite “ceasefires” declared between the separatist group and the Thai government, they never amounted to anything concrete. He also noted that political conflict between different factions of the Malay-Muslim separatist movement has increased, resulting in more militant activity.
In addition, the conflict is being further exacerbated by the presence of transnational terrorist groups. According to Anusorn Tamrong, these organizations have taken advantage of the unrest to establish a foothold in the region, creating a hub of radicalism.
The Thai government has sought throughout the last decade to find a political solution to the conflict. The government has opened a dialogue with the Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO)