Forces reduced in 5 southern districts ahead of planned emergency decree lifting

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BANGKOK, 27 September 2013 Security agencies are gradually withdrawing officers from five districts in the Deep South in preparation for a possible revocation of the emergency decree in the areas due to a drastic drop in violence. 

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the cabinet had previously approved an idea to revoke the enforcement of the emergency decree proposed by the Internal Security Operations Command. The five districts where security units are being withdrawn on a trial basis consist of Sukhirin, Mai Kaen, Kabang, Waeng and Betong.

As part of the transition process, the Army is scaling back forces in the aforementioned areas, leaving them in the hands of local police and defense volunteers.

Meanwhile, the National Security Council affirmed that it is analyzing rebel group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN)’s five demands in preparation for the next round of peace talk scheduled in October. Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha earlier commented that one of the demands which calls for the setting up of a Deep South special administrative zone will likely not be met.