What is the Southern Thailand Muslim Separatist Insurgency all About?

Screenshot from Mark Oltmanns’ excellent video – “Thailand Bomb Squad”

With yet more bomb attacks in Tak Bai and other areas of Narathiwat in Southern Thailand this weekend, we thought it was about time we talked a little bit about the southern Thailand Muslim separatist insurgency that has been getting increasingly stronger since around 2001.

But, as the situation is so complicated and few, including the Thai government, really know why there is so much unrest in Thailand’s deep south, the southern Thailand Muslim insurgency is hard to describe.

Then we came across an excellent video on YouTube — ‘Thailand Bomb Squad‘ — that was created by an American journalism student from Berkeley called Mark Oltmanns.

In just 11 minutes, it gives you a good idea about what is happening in Thailand’s deep south and how both Muslims and Buddhists are being targeted with bombings, shootings and massacres.

While watching the video, pay close attention to the segment about the Tak Bai Incident in 2004, as this is when most observers of the insurgency in southern Thailand will tell you the insurgency became much more violent and much more aggressive in nature.

In some respects, it is easy to see why as, with the deaths of 78 Muslim men at the hands of the Thai military none of whom have ever been punished, Tak Bai is one of the worst human rights violations ever to happen in Thailand, and a situation that should never have occurred.

Due to incidents like Tak Bai, as it stands at the moment, no matter what the Thai government tries to do the South Thailand insurgency seems to be getting worse.

Watch Thailand Bomb Squad below.

And as a visitor to Thailand, if you plan on traveling around, please know, most of Thailand is incredibly safe. In many ways, probably safer than the country you come from.

Just avoid most areas of the deep south as, no matter how lovely many of the people are, it is unfortunately not a safe place to be at the moment. Even for foreigners who are not involved in the conflict.