sape avec brio les fondements de la doctrine altermondialiste et la desormais eculee theorie du "Annulons-la-dette-donnons-leur-du-pognon-et-ils-se-calmeront":
La diagonale des fous On trouve aujourd'hui sur Fourth Rail une analyse de la situation en Thaïlande du Sud, où l'insurrection islamiste déclenchée voici presque 2 ans semble bien difficile à contrer. Comme à l'accoutumée, la campagne de contre-insurrection menée par le Gouvernement s'est heurtée à l'échec des méthodes frontales issues des conflits conventionnelles, et évolue dans des modes opératoires classiques :
"The Thai strategy is to drive a wedge between the professional fighters and the population as a whole. It has come to this strategy only lately, however, having first attempted to crush the insurgency by main force. Only time will tell if the new strategy is more successful, and the combination of diplomacy, social-welfare payouts, and outreach programs can dry up the sea in which the guerrillas swim. "
Il est assez intéressant de relever que de nos jours, un pays comme la Thaïlande peut effectivement être en guerre - 880 morts en 18 mois - et rester une destination touristique majeure, qui plus est malgré le tsunami. L'existence même d'une insurrection à motivation idéologique dans une nation en modernisation rapide semble encore plus intéressante : elle démontre que les lignes de fracture autour desquelles s'embrasent les sociétés sont de plus en plus liées à des facteurs immatériels, tels les valeurs et les croyances, qu'à des facteurs matériels comme les ressources ou le commerce. L'idée très en vogue selon laquelle réduire la pauvreté est une manière de réduire les conflits n'est que marginalement vraie. Ainsi, le discours du "grand échiquier" popularisé par Zbigniew Brzezinski est une vision trompeuse et simplificatrice d'une planète sur laquelle une multitude d'échiquiers gigognes forment une sorte de sculpture fractale tridimensionnelle en perpétuelle instabilité. Je m'explique (encore heureux... ;)) : une collectivité donnée peut être représentée par un échiquier qui lui-même représente une case de l'échiquier que forme la société englobant ladite collectivité. Et le méta-échiquier ultime, celui de la planète, se joue à mon sens dans le domaine des idées, dans la sphère de l'information, parce qu'elle seule interconnecte instantanément et immatériellement toutes les parties nationales, sectorielles ou locales.
C'est pourquoi la diagonale des fous de Dieu balaie irrémédiablement toute la planète, et ne laisse aucune société intacte ou indifférente. Nous sommes tous impliqués, concernés, menacés par l'affrontement qui se déroule jour après jour. Et à la différence de la guerre froide, les règles du jeu ont été déchirées...
Articles relatifs au sujet: Center For Contemporary Conflict
Unrest in South Thailand: Contours, Causes, and Consequences Since 2001
Historically speaking, Thailand is no stranger to armed conflict. Between the 1960s and early 1980s, the government fought an armed communist insurgency. Muslim separatists were active in the southern region of the country from the 1940s until the late 1980s. At the end of the 1990s, however, it seemed the Kingdom had solved its insurgency problem. The communist movement was dissolved and terrorism and political violence in the southern provinces was waning. In the past three years, however, southern Thailand has seen a recrudescence of long-dormant Malay-Muslim anger against the central government. The internal security situation in the country’s southernmost provinces has rapidly worsened and worries are arising that the country will become another hotspot of Islamist terrorism in Southeast Asia.
This raises some critical questions: What is the conflict about? Why is violence rising? Who is behind the violence? How can Thailand counter this new wave of insurgency? What are the consequences for domestic politics?
This paper will discuss these questions. Section I describes the historical roots and the patterns of the conflict in Thailand’s south until the late 1990s. Section II provides an outline of the current wave of insurgency. Section III examines causes for the latest outburst of violence. And Section IV discusses options for viable conflict solutions and the possible consequences for democracy in Thailand.
I. Historical Roots
Muslims comprise 5.5% of Thailand’s population. Notwithstanding its relatively small size, the relationship between the Buddhist majority of the population and the government in Bangkok and particularly the Malay-Muslim minority in the southern region is of crucial importance for political stability and security in Thailand and Southeast Asia. While Muslim communities exist all over the country, by far the greatest number of Muslims living in Thailand, however, is of Malay ethnic origin. As the only Muslim population in the country, they share a common ethnic identity and form a locally concentrated minority in the Patani Raya region, which had been an independent Kingdom until 1786 when Patani was conquered by the King of Siam and the Muslim dynasty was abolished. The efforts of the Siamese government to subjugate the Muslim areas began immediate after its incorporation but became more hostile only after the Anglo-Siamese treaties of 1904 and 1909 which recognized the Siamese control over Pattani.
With King Chulalonkorn’s administrative reforms in the 1890s, the Kingdom developed a centralized bureaucracy and established central control over most of its territory. Doing so, the central government in Bangkok was strong enough that it did not have to cut autonomy deals with the local Muslim rulers. Rather, the government eliminated local elites as a politically relevant player, as governors and bureaucrats were sent from Bangkok down to the southern provinces. The government divided Pattani into seven provinces which were governed by appointed bureaucrats under a centralized administrative structure......"
International Crisis Group
Southern Thailand: Insurgency, Not Jihad
Asia Report N°98
18 May 2005
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Violence in Thailand's southern, mainly Malay Muslim provinces has been steadily escalating since early 2004, exacerbated by the disastrously heavy-handed policies of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. There is widespread concern in the region that left unchecked, the unrest could turn into a mass-based insurgency, or even a regional jihad, although to date there is no evidence of external involvement in the bombings and killings that have become almost a daily occurrence.
The rise of more puritanical strains of Islam in southern Thailand is often cited as contributing to the violence, particularly given Muslim anger at the deployment of Thai troops in Iraq. But while Islamic consciousness and a sense of persecution and solidarity with fellow Muslims has grown over the last two decades, it would be a mistake to view the conflict as simply another manifestation of Islamic terrorism. The violence is driven by local issues.
There is no question that the Muslim south is one of the poorest parts of Thailand, but the grievances are political, and even well thought-out development policies will not deal with the unrest effectively unless those grievances are addressed. However, almost every step the government has taken has exacerbated the problem.
The origins of the current violence lie in historical grievances stemming from discrimination against the ethnic Malay Muslim population and attempts at forced assimilation by successive ethnic Thai Buddhist governments in Bangkok for almost a century.
Armed separatist groups have been active there since the late 1960s, with particularly virulent violence in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The largest and most effective group of several operating then was PULO (Patani United Liberation Organisation), which called for an independent Islamic state but whose thrust was more ethno-nationalist than Islamist.
The Thai government managed to stem the unrest with political and economic reforms that undercut support for armed struggle, and hundreds of fighters accepted a broad amnesty. The insurgency looked to be all but over by the mid-1990s.
But new strains then appeared, with four particularly significant groups emerging or re-emerging, and major violence erupting in early 2004. The major groups active today include:
BRN-C (Barisan Revolusi Nasional-Coordinate, National Revolutionary Front-Coordinate) the only active faction of BRN, first established in the early 1960s to fight for an independent Patani state. Thought to be the largest and best organised of the armed groups, it is focused on political organising and recruitment within Islamic schools;
Pemuda, a separatist youth movement (part of which is controlled by BRN-C), believed to be responsible for a large proportion of day-to-day sabotage, shooting and bombing attacks;
GMIP (Gerakan Mujahidin Islam Patani, Patani Islamic Mujahidin Group), established by Afghanistan veterans in 1995, committed to an independent Islamic state; and
New PULO, established in 1995 as an offshoot of PULO and the smallest of the active armed groups, is fighting for an independent state.
In an effort to understand the current violence and who is involved, this report focuses in detail on three recent major outbreaks. The first, on 4 January 2004, involved carefully coordinated attacks in which militants raided an army arsenal, torched schools and police posts, and the following day, set off several bombs.
The second, on 28 April 2004, involved synchronised attacks on eleven police posts and army checkpoints across Pattani, Yala and Songkhla, and ended in a bloody showdown at the Krue Se Mosque when the Thai army gunned down 32 men inside. By the end of the day, 105 militants, one civilian and five members of the security forces were dead.
The third, on 25 October 2004, began with a demonstration outside a police station and ended with the deaths of at least 85 Muslim men and boys, most from suffocation after arrest as a result of being stacked five and six deep in army trucks for transport to an army base.
There are several explanations, none mutually exclusive, for why violence has escalated. Two of the most plausible are the disbanding of key government institutions, and the fear and resentment created by arbitrary arrests and police brutality, compounded by government failure to provide justice to victims and families. Rapid social change has also contributed to insecurity and frustration in Malay Muslim communities and a feeling that their way of life, values and culture are threatened.
Government missteps in handling the problem include:
failure to diagnose it accurately;
dismantling effective crisis management institutions;
excessive use of force;
failure to properly investigate and punish abuses by members of the security forces;
deployment of officers with little or no understanding of local cultural sensitivities or Malay language skills;
reliance on weak intelligence;
frequent rotation of senior political and security personnel and failure to coordinate some ten security forces and intelligence agencies in the region; and
dismissal of proposals for amnesty and less intrusive methods of regulating religious schools in favour of a more robust military response.
Beyond security measures, the government needs to understand and respond to the political grievances from which perpetrators of violence are drawing strength. The establishment in March 2005 of a National Reconciliation Commission, despite its mainly non-Muslim, non-southern composition, is the first encouraging step in this direction. In order to address immediate sources of tension, however, the government should, at a minimum, undertake a number of additional steps designed to break the cycle of violence by a measured response that acknowledges the need for more than police and military actions.
To the Royal Thai Government:
1. Conduct full and transparent enquiries into the 74 deaths on 28 April 2004 that have yet to be investigated, in particular the nineteen alleged extra-judicial executions at Saba Yoi.
2. Try the four generals implicated in the Krue Se and Tak Bai deaths in April and October 2004 and named by the investigative commissions. Those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, not merely subjected to disciplinary actions such as transfers.
3. Establish a special commission to investigate the rash of disappearances in the southern provinces, many of which are suspected to be the result of kidnappings by state officials, with particular attention to the case of Somchai Neelaphaijit.
4. Re-examine army and police rules of engagement in the south to better ensure human rights protection.
5. End the unofficial policy of sending corrupt and errant officials to the southern provinces as a punishment post, thoroughly screen officials being transferred from other regions, and provide them with adequate cultural awareness training.
6. Hire, where possible, local Malay Muslims in the local administration and security forces, and reinforce the recent commendable initiative of the Southern Border Provinces Peace-Building Command (SBPPBC) to take on an additional 30,000 locals by providing training to help elevate Malay Muslims to senior positions.
7. Reinstate some form of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) to coordinate policy and monitor its implementation, with a civilian head mandated to remove corrupt or abusive officials.
8. Make a serious commitment to identifying, understanding, and creating the mechanisms for addressing political grievances, perhaps initially by broadening and deepening the consultative processes of the National Reconciliation Commission.
Thailand Islamic Insurgency
A wave of attacks in southern Thailand forced the government to stop blaming "bandits" and acknowledge, for the first time in decades, that separatist militants were operating in the country. On 05 January 2004 Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra declared martial law in most of the affected region, the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. Defence Minister Thamarak Isarangura authorised Fourth Army Region commander Lt-General Phongsak Aekbansingha to place six districts in Narathiwat, three districts in Yala and four districts in Pattani under martial law. This followed a deadly arms raid and arson attack which re-ignited security concerns in the majority Muslim provinces of Southern Thailand. More than 100 assault rifles stolen in a raid on 04 January 2004 by dozens of assailants who killed four Thai soldiers and torched 18 schools. In early 2004 there were reports of more than 100 fighters moving near the border.
The premier blamed the assault on the Mujahideen Islam Pattani, one of several Muslim separatist groups accused of killing about 50 police officers over the previous three years. The banned Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) had boasted in May 2003 that Thai security forces were "falling like leaves" as Muslims fought to free the south from Bangkok's rule. PULO Deputy President Lukman B. Lima charged that Bangkok "illegally incorporated" the far south into Thailand 100 years ago and now ruled it with "colonial" repression while "committing crimes against humanity in the area."Historically, this region, consisting of the provinces of Satun, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, has served as a dumping ground for corrupt and/or incompetent civilian and military officials. This has been further aggravated by the population's ethnic make-up, predominantly Thai Muslims, which has produced a major degree of alienation intensified by government misadministration. Additionally, daily life there, particularly in urban areas, is continually plagued by a higher level of common banditry and lawlessness, more so than in the kingdom's other regions, making it very difficult for authorities to differentiate between criminal lawlessness and terrorist acts commissioned by domestic Thai terrorist or Muslim Separatist groups.
The practice of Islam is concentrated in Thailand's southernmost provinces, where the vast majority of the country's Muslims, predominantly Malay in origin, were found. The remaining Muslims were Pakistani immigrants in the urban centers, ethnic Thai in the rural areas of the Center, and a few Chinese Muslims in the far north. Education and maintenance of their own cultural traditions were vital interests of these groups. Except in the small circle of theologically trained believers, the Islamic faith in Thailand, like Buddhism, had become integrated with many beliefs and practices not integral to Islam. It would be difficult to draw a line between animistic practices indigenous to Malay culture that were used to drive off evil spirits and local Islamic ceremonies because each contained aspects of the other. In the mid-1980s, the country had more than 2,000 mosques in 38 Thai provinces, with the largest number (434) in Narathiwat Province. All but a very small number of the mosques were associated with the Sunni branch of Islam; the remainder were of the Shia branch. Each mosque had an imam (prayer leader), a muezzin (who issued the call to prayer), and perhaps other functionaries. Although the majority of the country's Muslims were ethnically Malay, the Muslim community also included the Thai Muslims, who were either hereditary Muslims, Muslims by intermarriage, or recent converts; Cham Muslims originally from Cambodia; West Asians, including both Sunni and Shias; South Asians, including Tamils, Punjabis and Bengalis; Indonesians, especially Javanese and Minangkabau; Thai-Malay or people of Malay ethnicity who have accepted many aspects of Thai language and culture, except Buddhism, and have intermarried with Thai; and Chinese Muslims, who were mostly Haw living in the North.
Following World War II, local Malaysian communists, nearly all Chinese, launched a long, bitter insurgency, prompting the imposition of a state of emergency in 1948 (lifted in 1960). Small bands of guerrillas remained in bases along the rugged border with southern Thailand, occasionally entering northern Malaysia. These guerrillas finally signed a peace accord with the Malaysian Government in December 1989.
In years past, the Muslim separatist groups in southern Thailand and the Communist Party of Thailand dabbled in drug trafficking to raise funds to support their political and operational objectives. As of 2000 there was little if any data linking indigenous terrorists to drug trafficking in Southeast Asia. The Communist Party had not been a viable organization in Thailand for years, and the Muslim separatist movement had fractured into a number of organizations known more for their banditry than their political activities. Drug trafficking did not, therefore, contribute to any significant terrorism on the part of these organizations. In fact, there were no credible reports of any terrorist groups either being based in or conducting terrorist activity within the Kingdom of Thailand.
The 4-province area in the southern-most part of Thailand, which is populated mainly by Muslim Thais, has not been completely pacified. There are still some small groups of Islamic radical, which sometime resort to violent tactics in order to make their presence felt, are still posing problems to public safety in the south. The crack down on terrorist organizations, with connections to international terrorist groups like Al-Queda, may spill over into this sensitive area. The possibility of local Islamic radical groups in the south giving sanctuary or staging location for future attack to fellow neighboring or international factions cannot be totally discounted. It has been a concern among Thai and friendly countries. Authorities have known for quite some time that many Muslim Thai activists went overseas to Islamic schools, where they came under influence of hard-line teachers. Some were reported to have joined the jihad war against the Soviet Army in Afghanistan and returned to Thailand as extremists.
During 2000 authorities responded with military force and legal action to separatist activity in the south. In February, security forces dealt a severe blow to the New Pattani United Liberation Organization -- a Muslim separatist group -- when they killed its leader Saarli Taloh-Meyaw. Authorities claim that he was responsible for 90 percent of the terrorist activities in Narathiwat, a southern Thai province. In April, police arrested the deputy leader of the outlawed Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) -- a Southern separatist group -- in Pattani. The case was still pending before the court at year's end. Authorities suspected Muslim separatists conducted several small-scale attacks on public schools, a government-run clinic, and a police station in the south.
There were some Tamil Tigers in the Phuket area of southern Thailand reportedly involved in heroin smuggling. In addition, they were believed to have purchased weapons for transport to Sri Lanka to support their separatist activities there. The drug proceeds may have been used to purchase any weapons actually acquired. In 2000 Thai officials again publicly pledged to halt the use of Thailand as a logistics base by the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The pledges, which echoed reassurances made by Bangkok in previous years, followed the discovery in June 2000 of a partially completed submersible at a shipyard in Phuket, Thailand, owned by an LTTE-sympathizer, as well as an unclassified paper by Canadian intelligence published in December that outlined the Tigers' use of front companies to procure weapons via Thailand.
Thailand suffered a number of bombings throughout 2001, many believed by authorities to be the work of Islamic extremists in those countries; few arrests have been made, however. Thai authorities suspect Muslim organized crime groups from the predominately Muslim provinces in southern Thailand were responsible for several small-scale attacks in 2001. One act of terrorism occurred on April 7, 2001 when the Haad Yai train station was bombed resulting in the death of a young boy, injuries to several passengers, and severe damage to property. Others included an unexploded truck bomb that was found next to a hotel in southern Thailand in November, and, in December, a series of coordinated attacks on police checkpoints in southern Thailand that killed five police officers and a defense volunteer.
Thailand faced renewed violence in the southern provinces since 2001, largely blamed on former Muslim insurgents who have turned to banditry. Since the violence resumed some 50 police and soldiers have been killed in incidents that analysts often link to criminal gangs, extortion and smuggling.
Problems began with the government's decision in the summer of 2001 to dismantle the government's once successful intelligence and suppression operations against those separatist and insurgent movements. This was exacerbated by the government’s initial response, which was limited to labeling it a law-enforcement issue and blaming it on gangs of organized criminals and out of work Thai Army officers displaced by the government's policy change. While there is no information that suggests transnational groups had yet become associated with the Al Qaeda network and or that Thai separatist terrorists currently cooperate on any level beyond basic joint operations planning, largely due to divergent goals and interests, it should nevertheless be noted that several Thai military sources reported increased levels of possible Al Qaeda activity in one of the states in Northern Malaysia bordering Thailand. Moreover, on 15 July 2002, Prime Minister Thaksin dramatically reversed his position and ordered the Army, Civilian Military Police (CPM 43) and Ministry of Interior to re-establish their previously dismantled intelligence apparatus, control headquarters and Administrative Center for Southern Border Provinces, respectively. The National Security Council also set up a coordinating center. However, it remained to be seen if that will have any immediate affect on the situation.
Southern Thailand's terrorist incidents in 2002 raised questions about potential Al Qaeda Network involvement. These attacks were the handiwork of a small number of highly organized, experienced insurgents from 4-8 Muslim groups, each numbering no more than 30 people, that have embarked on a concerted and well-planned campaign of ambushes, murders, weapons thefts and criminal extortion since the Thaksin government transferred security responsibilities from the Army to the police last summer. Although some of their activities may have been inspired by the Thai Government’s assistance to the US war on terror, Southern Thailand's stability has always been a direct reflection of Bangkok's degree of control. These groups had not increased their capability to conduct a sustained terrorist campaign and the current threat from Thai Muslim separatist terrorist groups in the region still remains limited despite the recently increased violence attributed to them.
On 10 June 2003 Thai police broke up a cell of the Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiyah and foiled a plot to bomb embassies in the country. Three Thai men alleged to be members of Jemaah Islamiyah, the group suspected in last year's bombing on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, were arrested in raids on their homes in the Muslim.dominated Narathiwat province, 710 miles south of Bangkok. The development followed the May 16 arrest in Bangkok of Arifin bin Ali, 42, a Singaporean alleged to be a senior member of the terror group.
Thai Muslim separatists may have called on support from the Malaysian Kampulan Mujahedin. The Malaysian group has links to the regional terror organization, Jemaah Islamiyah, which has ties to the al-Qaida terror network. There was talk decades ago about creating a Muslim state in parts of Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia, but this has largely disappeared. Some religious leaders in the past, about 60- or 80-years ago, they had some idea to separate southern Thailand as an independent state. Even some, they want to join with Selantan state, Terranganu, and Cambodia and become an Islamic state.
The Free Aceh Movement (Gerakin Aceh Merdeka: GAM) maintains links with Muslim Pattani separatists in Thailand from such groups as the Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO), Bersatu and Gerakan Mujahideen Islam Pattani (GMIP), and Islamic organizations in Malaysia including the Kumpulan Mujahiden Malaysia (KMM).
On Sunday afternoon [04 January 2004], four Thai soldiers were killed when about 30 armed bandits stormed the army depot in Narathiwat, 720 miles south of Bangkok, stealing a cache of 300 weapons including: 300 assault rifles, 40 pistols and two M-60 machine guns. Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said the assailants were possibly aided by someone inside the military’s armory. No one has claimed responsibility for either attack. Meanwhile, 18 schools in the same area were set on fire using mosquito coils on petrol-soaked sacks. Government-run secular schools have been targeted in the past because they were seen as anti-Islamic by separatist militants. On Monday, two police-men were killed when a bomb they were trying to defuse (planted on a motorcycle parked outside a shopping mall in Pattani) exploded. Meanwhile, another policeman was hurt when an explosion ripped through a police box in a nearby public park. Two more bombs were found and defused in a shopping-mall telephone booth and nearby petrol station. Police Commissioner General Sant Sarutanond said intelligence officers had leant that a group of 12 Muslim terrorists had planned to plant bombs in the four Muslim-dominated provinces as part of an ongoing terror campaign. Attacks on police posts continued until Wednesday. However, following the attacks, the army has offered a reward of Bt1million for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. Over the weekend, the Thai government imposed martial law in the three southernmost provinces: Narathiwat and Yala (which border Malaysia), as well as Pattani -— dispatching 3,000 troops to the Muslim-majority region. According to officials, key members of the Gerakan Mujahideen Islam Pattani (GMIP), the Barison Revolusi Nasional (BRN), and both the old and new Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) were being closely followed. Government security adviser Kitti Rattanachaya told the media that the attacks were likely carried out by a local separatist group with the help of al-Qaida linked terrorists. As of Thursday, authorities had detained five and questioned 30 people in connection with the attacks. Malaysia has vowed to enforce necessary measures to bar the suspects from fleeing to its territory by dispatching troops to the Thai-Malaysian border following Bangkok’s request. Meanwhile, senior military officials are considering the need to rebuild intelligence networks, in an area of the country where the domestic population are considerably more hostile to authorities. Also, Thailand has asked Jakarta to monitor Thai Muslim students in Indonesia for signs of militancy following the attacks.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s swift response, including full-scale bilateral coordination efforts with bordering countries (Malaysia and Indonesia) amplifies the government’s precarious position of eliminating terrorism in a Muslim-dominated region. While necessary to sustain peace and order, acknowledging the presence and activity of Islamic separatists groups may prove more of a hindrance to Bangkok’s efforts, further widening the existing gap between the already discontented Muslim population and government authorities. Meanwhile, local community leaders have warned that such heavy-handed action could drive away future tourism and foreign investment opportunities to the area.
Thailand rejected claims violence in its Muslim-dominated south was linked to international terror groups, while the defence minister confirmed two arrests had been made. Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said no evidence supported the theory that culprits behind the deadly attacks were linked to regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), as claimed by a top security official. Since the attacks began in January 2004 about 70 people died, mostly in drive-by killings by men on motorcycles.
As many as 112 people were killed in late April in clashes between security forces and militants who attacked more than a dozen security posts in three southern provinces. Most of the attackers were in their twenties and their leaders wore black T-shirts - indicating a high level of organization. Officials believed the attackers wanted to steal weapons, as in a similar attack in January 2004 on an army barracks in which four soldiers were killed. The government said it believed the unrest was not due to religious extremists, but rather criminals seeking to cover up their illegal activities.