Gen Yutthasak made the statement following a national security meeting with the Internal Security Operations Commands (ISOC) Friday regarding the insurgency in the three southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.
He said the premier, who chaired Friday’s meeting, instructed concerned agencies to contain violence in the area and that all agencies, including ISOC, the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) and the police, to work in an integrated manner to reduce the violence.
There must be concrete improvement in the southern border provinces within six months and the violence must be reduced by 50 per cent within one year, according to the deputy premier.
Gen Yutthasak stated that for any area in which peace and order is restored, the emergency decree will be lifted.
The deputy premier added the authorities had identified the suspected leaders of insurgent groups and their members. Many had surrendered to police and cooperated with state officials.
The SBPAC will encourage those who has surrendered to continue working with the authorities. The concerned agencies will also cut the channels of insurgent support from illegal business rings such as drugs and the smuggling of illegal products.
The emergency decree was introduced in the three restive provinces in mid-2005 to maintain order. The security law facilitates the operation of security-related agencies and allows the detention of suspected insurgents for an initial period of 30 days.
The law has been extended numerous times and remains in force.
The resurgence of violence in the southernmost provinces in Jan 2004 has claimed over 5,000 lives since then, including civilians, security forces, monks, teachers and insurgents.