Philippines peace deal with rebels a case study for Thailand


BANGKOK, March 29 – Thailand will study the recent peace deal between the Philippine government and the largest Muslim rebel group to determine if their methods can be applied to end the decade-old dispute with militants in the southern border provinces, a senior army officer said.

Col Banpot Poonpien, spokesman of the Internal Security Operation Command (ISOC), said the army chief has instructed relevant government agencies to conduct a comparative study on the insurgency situation between Thailand and the Philippines.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a peace deal with the Philippines government in Manila on Thursday, ending 45 years of battle which have claimed the lives of 120,000 people.

The peace process in the Philippines started in 2001 and involved 43 rounds of talks over 13 years, after which a law was issued through the national legislative body.

Col Banpot said the Philippines success could serve as a guiding light for Thailand, adding that Thailand has entered only three rounds of dialogue with rebels in the country’s far South since the peace process was launched last year.