HD Research Institute

Monthly Security Report – October, November 2014

December 3, 2014 | By admin | Category: HD Research Institute

Deep South

In October and November 2014, eleven people were killed and another 21 people were injured in the Deep South of Thailand in the three provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala.

Figure 1: Injured and Killed People per Province

Figure 1: Injured and Killed People per Province

The affected districts in Narathiwat province include Rueso, Muang, Si Sakhon and Su-ngai Kolok. Pattani’s most dangerous districts during the last two months were Muang, Yarang, Yaring and Khok Pho district. People were injured and killed in Yala’s Yaha, Betong and Raman districts. Although most of the attacks occurred in Narathiwat, Yala saw the most fatalities in comparison to Narathiwat and Pattani in the past two months.

The chart below indicates the gender of the victims. There were significantly more males targeted in the attacks than women. Seventeen men were injured in the Deep South versus just four women, however, almost the same number from both genders died.

graph 2

Figure 2: Gender of the Victims

Civilians are the most frequently hit group in all of the three provinces.

Figure 3: Victims’ Backgrounds

Figure 3: Victims’ Backgrounds

In general, more people were killed by gunshots rather than explosives.

Figure 4: Weapon Type

Figure 4: Weapon Type

Peace talks, which started in August, are still ongoing. Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayuth, traveled to Malaysia to continue with the peace process with his Malaysian counterpart Prime Minister Najib Razak. Both leaders aim to strengthen the relationship between Thailand and Malaysia, and to work together in stabilizing the border provinces. They hope to accomplish this through three principles; a period without violence; representation of all concerned parties; and a conclusion with all parties united in their demands. (The Nation)

Banners against the Thai government in Thai, English, and Yawi were seen, and small explosions were heard in the Deep South as PM Prayuth arrived in Kuala Lumpur for talks on the conflicts. (Bangkok Post)

Human Trafficking

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In October, two Thai nationals were arrested for the trafficking of 53 men, most of them belonging to a stateless Muslim minority from western Myanmar. Another 79 people were found on a boat. Thailand is making little progress in its efforts to combat human trafficking and trafficking routes are still very active. In only one week, 130 trafficked people were found in the province of Phang Nga, north of Phuket. International organizations like Human Rights Watch have criticized Thailand’s efforts. Victims are mostly from the poorer neighboring countries without prospects for employment, money, or official papers. Men are usually forced into labor on fishing vessels or forced to beg for example; whereas women mostly work in domestic households or become victims of sexual exploitation. Victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation frequently include children. For example, at the beginning of November, about 20 Thai and Lao girls between 15 and 18 years were rescued from a karaoke bar in Don Tum district of Nakhon Pathom province. Some of the girls were in Thailand as tourists and were offered jobs from recruiters. (Bangkok Post, 14/10/2014)

Children begging can be seen everywhere in Bangkok, especially in tourist areas like the Khaosan Road. Most of them are from Burma/ Myanmar and their ages vary greatly. They work every day and during the night, but the money they earn is never sufficient to support their families. Not only are most of them far away from their parents and living in poverty, they are also victims of human trafficking and frequently subject to physical abuse from their captors. (Mairs, Sally: “The Exploited Kids Selling Roses to Tourists on Bangkok’s Khaosan Road”, 22/10/2014)

In many places in Southeast Asia people are captured and held in jungle camps until their relatives pay ransom for their release. As a result of ethnic violence in Myanmar, thousands of people have been left homeless or have fled only to live without access to education, employment or healthcare. These difficult conditions make it easier for smugglers to convince people to cross the border with the promise of a better life. “In January, two police raids in southern Thailand freed 636 people, about a third of them Bangladeshis – an ‘unprecedented’ number, said police.” Still thousands of people from Southeast Asia are held by a complex trafficking network within jungle camps in the south of Thailand, according to victims of trafficking. The guards at these camps treat the captives poorly, allowing them to starve, die of dehydration, or become victims of sexual violence. Most of the boats and crews involved in these transnational criminal activities are from Thailand. (Reuters, 22/10/2014)

To download the pdf version please click here: Monthly Security Report – October, November, 2014

For further information on separate attacks, please consult HDFF’s South Thailand Security Map:  https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=210050514500444605871.0004bf948a6668f516ba6&msa=0




Monthly Security Report – September, 2014

October 13, 2014 | By admin | Category: HD Research Institute

Deep South

Due to the closure of religious holidays and since the resumption of the peace dialogue in August between the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) as biggest separatist Muslim movement group in the South, violence is on the decline in the three provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

Graph1

Killed and Injured Persons

In the month of September nine people were killed and another nine persons were injured by attacks. The primary targets belong to the local government administration.

Graph 2

Victim per Province

 

Weapon use, Jan - Oct, 2014

Weapon use, Jan – Oct, 2014

The graph above suggests that bombs are the main reason for a high number of wounded people, but that gunshot injuries cause the greatest number of deaths.

The charts below depict the attacks which have occurred over the year in the four provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala and Songkhla. It indicates the frequency of attacks in the different districts of the provinces, and displays the most dangerous regions from January to October 2014.

Graph 4 Graph 6 Graph 5   Graph 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Songkhla, the last attack relating to the conflict in the Deep South was reported in June.

The most dangerous province in Thailand is Pattani, with the most attacks, and subsequently the most injured and killed people.

Graph 8

The peace talks had already begun in August, but Prime Minister Prayuth has forecasted an end to the violence in the Deep South within one year before Thailand joins the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 (AEC). Goals of the negotiations are long-term peace in the three provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat between the Thai authorities and the insurgent groups. (Bangkok Post)

National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Thawil Pliensri said that there is a three-year plan to solve the “Southern problem”, beginning next year.

Koh Tao

Early Monday morning, 15 September 2014, two British tourists, 24-year-old David Miller and 23-year-old Hannah Witheridge, were killed on Koh Tao, Surat Thani province. Both joined a party at the beach, but what happened during the night from Sunday to Monday cannot be entirely reconstructed. The DNA found on a cigarette close and on the female victim was tested and failed to provide a match. Miller and Witheridge both died from head injuries caused by blunt objects. Additionally, there was water in the lungs of the male victim who may have been fighting with his attacker. Two weeks later, three Burmese migrant workers were accused of the murders of the two British tourists. At the moment, it seems that one of the suspects left the crime scene when the murder took place, but there are still some unanswered questions and criticisms of the investigation. (Bangkok Post)

Officials stated that, in order to make the situation for tourists safer, identification wristbands with a serial number from the hotel which matches their ID and have the contact details of the hotel may be used. (The Guardian)

Pattaya

Pattaya is one of the most popular places for drugs and sex tourism in Thailand, especially the area known as “Walking Street.”  Plans have been announced to clean up its image. (The Guardian)

On 27 September, a 23 years old Danish woman was raped. The police have been searching for a suspect of Thai nationality. A 25 to 30-year-old man claiming to be a taxi driver, offered to give her a ride from the PTT petrol station in Baan Amphur to their home to Naklua. The man changed the route and forced her to accompany him to a remote place where the sexual assault took place. The woman accepted the drive back to the petrol station but jumped off the motorbike near a group of people and contacted the police immediately. (PattayaOne)

 

To download the pdf version please click here: Monthly Security Report – September, 2014

For further information on separate attacks, please consult HDFF’s South Thailand Security Map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=210050514500444605871.0004bf948a6668f516ba6&msa=0




Monthly Security Report – August, 2014

September 4, 2014 | By admin | Category: HD Research Institute

In August 2014, seven people died and eleven were wounded in the Deep South of Thailand. The attacks occurred in only two provinces, Pattani and Yala. This means a decrease of attacks in comparison to July. In the province of Narathiwat no attack was reported.

Figure 1: Attacks by Province

Figure 1: Attacks by Province

Overview

The victims were injured and killed by bombs or gunshots in Yala’s Yaha, Than To and Raman districts as well as in Pattani’s Mayo, Yarang and Khok Pho districts. The graph below shows the groups the victims belong to. Most of them are from the official sector. For example, policemen who provide security for teachers in the Deep South region are the most at risk group for attacks. Of the ten attacks this month, four resulted in law enforcement casualties.  Followed by the group, “Other/ Unknown”, includes civilians.

Figure 2: Group of Victims

Figure 3: Trend of Attacks, 2014

Figure 3: Trend of Attacks, 2014

Peace talks in the Deep South

The reasons behind the violence in the southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat can be traced back to the history, identity and different religious ideology of the parties. After the unrest in May, and an increase of attacks in July 2014, there is a noticeable decline in the month of August. One reason may be due to the closure of religious holidays and festivals. Another reason may be due to the continuation of peace talks in the Deep South of Thailand between the separatist movement, Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) who resumed their efforts for peace in this region.

Goals of the dialogue are to figure out better ways to stabilize the situation in the three provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat and to rebuild an environment that will be conducive for peace, stability and security, said General Akanit. (Bangkok Post)

The peace process will proceed in two phases. First, the provisional government makes laws for national reform and doctoral regulations. The second will be to pass on the work to the next government. The NCPO set up an executive policy committee for the action and a peace dialogue commission for the strategies of the peace talks with General Prayuth as the chairman. Former negotiations between the NSC und the government under the former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawathra and the insurgent groups, led by BRN, started on 28 of February and failed in October 2013 after only five rounds. (Bangkok Post)

Mr. Culbert, former member of the IRA said that in Thailand’s case the “military wings” of each group involved might see the need to continue fighting, but it is important for the “political wings” of all groups to be involved in negotiations leading to the peace process. (Bangkok Post)

There is a two track peace process for the Deep South region. The first is the official process for international and public consumption. The second one involves talks between Thai security forces and mid-ranking separatist leaders who have direct command over the insurgents. One goal, for example, could be the declaring of demilitarized zones. However, there is no sign for autonomy in any of these regions. The Thai Army has resisted any calls for autonomy and it is very likely that they will continue resisting. (The Nation, VOA)

To download the PDF Version please click here: Monthly Security Report – August, 2014

For further information on seperate attacks, please consult HDFF’s South Thailand Security Map: HDFF South Thailand Incident Map




Monthly Security Report – July, 2014

August 19, 2014 | By admin | Category: HD Research Institute

In July 2014, 20 people died and 85 were wounded in the Deep South of Thailand. That means an increase of attacks in the three provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala; the latter being where the  majority of bombs and gunshots were reported.

Figure 1: Killed/ Injured, July 2014

Overview

At the beginning of 2013, statistics and records of attacks in the Deep South of Thailand show that most of the attacks occur over the weekend. One reason could be due to the heavy flow of traffic of people going to and from various locations or at public places where they are easy targets for attackers. 

Figure 2: Frequency of Attacks since 2013

Despite the military coup in May, attacks in the Deep South of Thailand have not decreased. In July, there was a significant increase of violence compared to June. One of the reasons can be attributed to the start of Vassa, the Buddhist equivalent of Lent, on the 12th of July which coincided with the end of Ramadan. 

Figure 3: Trend of Attacks, 2014

The biggest attack occurred in late July, in the Province of Yala where 15 people died and 52 were wounded by a car bomb in Betong district. Most of the injured people were civilians, Bangkok Post reported. The statistic below shows the highest number of killed and injured people in this region.The end of Ramadan on 28th of July was followed by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) detonation in Pattani’s Sai Buri district, which killed one child and injured six .

Figure 4: Victims per Province

There were no attacks reported during the month of August in the province of Songkla, but Narathiwat witnessed targeted attacks in the districts of Rueso, Tak Bai, Sukirin, Su-ngai Padi and Cho-airong where eight people died, seven of them were killed by gunshots.  Attacks in Pattani happened in Mayo district, Sai Buri district, Nong Chik district and Thung Yang Daeng district. Five of the six victims died by gunshots and belonged either to officials or were reported militants. It seems like civilians are not direct targets of attacks, but remain the most at risk group and represent the majority of the victims.  This is illustrated by the bomb explosions that occurred in Yala’s Betong district in late July where 52 people were injured and two killed by a car bomb.

Vehicle bombs are one of the most dangerous weapons in conflict regions because it causes not only a high number of casualties but also causes damageto buildings and roads resulting in high infrastructural costs for the government.

Figure 5: Types of Incidents

On 7 July, two IEDs exploded in Yala and Pattani. These were two separate but related attacks, which injured 3 people. One defense volunteer died in Yala’s Than To district.Despite the high damage rate of vehicle bombs, more people were killed by gunshots in July. Victims of these kinds of attacks are not only officials, but are also civilians.

Figure 6: Number of Victims by different kind of Weapons

The graph below shows that the most at risk group is called Other/ Unknown, which includes civilians. There is a higher risk of casualties and injuries for civilians, followed by the police force due to the security they provide for local officials like teachers.

Figure 7: Annual Trend of Victims

In mid July, the NCPO decided to build fences around schools in 136 villages located in high risk regions in the Deep South of Thailand. They also plan to install CCTV cameras in these areas. This illustrates the high priority of peace talks. After a disruption of peace talks between the Yingluck government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) following the end of Ramadan from the previous year, both sides are interested in continuing peace dialogues for resolving southern conflicts behind closed doors. The two parties are BRN separatist movement and the NCPO under General Prayuth Chan-ocha. The statement of the army chief is clear: “The Thai side is aware that resorting to violence as a means to fight violence is not a sustainable solution and at the same time I will not allow a land separation or administrative separation of Thailand’s deep South.” (Bangkok Post)

Aside from the peace talks, the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC), and the ministries are supposed to work together and create transparency for a public understanding of how the government tries to bring peace and unity into the Deep South region of Thailand.

 

To download the PDF Version please click here: Monthly Security Report July 2014

For further information on seperate attacks, please consult HDFF’s South Thailand Security Map: HDFF South Thailand Incident Map




Monthly Security Report – June, 2014

July 4, 2014 | By admin | Category: HD Research Institute

Ten deaths and twelve injuries were reported in the month of June in connection to the conflict in the Deep South – a big difference to May, which saw a total of 107 injuries, and ten deaths.  Whereas last month experienced several very large-scale and indiscriminate bomb attacks, resulting in huge numbers of casualties, June witnessed an increase in smaller-scale targeted attacks.

Overview of attacks

Throughout the month of June, Pattani witnessed targeted attacks in Sai Buri district, Yarang district, Yaring district, Panare district, and Khok Pho district. Four military personnel were victims, two of whom were killed by gunshots from a pick-up truck on June 3, and the other two injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) on June 4, as they guarded a road used by teachers on their route to school. A male defense volunteer was killed by gunshot on June 11 in Sai Buri, and on June 23, two rangers were wounded when an IED was remotely detonated, also as they patrolled the route teachers take to school in Yaring district. No details have emerged as to who the perpetrators were. At the start of Ramadan, shots were fired near a mosque in Panare district, wounding the father of the Mosque’s Imam, and killing an assistant village chief and religious leader. Rumors amounted that the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) were behind this attack, but they have denied all responsibility. (Bangkok Post)

Narathiwat witnessed two separate, but related targeted attacks on June 16. The first – a roadside bomb explosion – injured two defense volunteers providing security for teachers in Cho Ai Rong district at around 8am. The second occurred when a bomb targeting a police Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team exploded, missing the targets and killing a civilian motorcyclist passing by. A further attack in Narathiwat occurred in Tak Bai on June 28 when at least ten men opened fire on a team of policemen, killing two, in addition to wounding two civilians nearby.

Songkla witnessed one attack, on June 16. The owner of a grocery shop was killed, and his wife wounded when a group of four men on motorcycles arrived at their shop, one of whom walked inside and opened fire. The perpetrators then set fire to the shop before escaping. Police are investigating the attack.

Type of attacks

Despite the fact that most of the incidents in June appear to have been targeted attacks, civilians still make up the largest number of victims, with five killed and five injured. In all cases of civilians being attacked, the intent behind them remains so far unknown to official sources. The second biggest victims are both the police and the military. Two military personnel and two policemen were killed in June, and two of each injured. Furthermore, one defence volunteer was killed and two were wounded.

Guns were the most common type of weapon used in attacks in June, and also the most likely to cause fatalities. A total of nine people were killed by gunshot, and five injured, in comparison to one death by IED, and six injuries.

Media reports on southern conflict

A large challenge when it comes to regular reporting on the conflict in the South is the lack of reliable sources and documentation of the situation and all related activities, including the number and nature of the attacks. As a step towards ending media bias, and promoting factual knowledge about the situation, Panu Uthairat, the secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre, met with local networks and government officials to put in place a set of basic standards and rules for discussing and reporting on the violence. He urged that all news outlets put more emphasis on accuracy, and reporting from all angles, to prevent the spread of misinformation and misunderstanding. (Bangkok Post)

Another problem occurs when considering the fact that the insurgency has no defined goals or leader at the forefront of it, with insurgent cells disconnected and diffuse. This poses problems for reporters and for the public trying to understand the issues. The dominant source of news for the conflict comes from Bangkok-based press, who have been accused of media bias against the Malay-Muslim minority. It has been observed that these outlets fail to give balanced reports, focusing solely on attacks against Thai Buddhists, and not on the systemic discrimination of the Muslim population. Furthermore, reports on abuses by security forces against the Malay Muslims in the south are few and far between. (The Boston Globe)

To download the PDF version please click here: HDFF South Thailand Security Report June 2014

For further information on seperate attacks, please consult HDFF’s South Thailand Security Map: HDFF South Thailand Incident Map




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