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Prayuth leads revamped security force

Posted by pakin On June - 20 - 2014

Three ‘arms’ to tackle stubborn insurgency

Junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha is reshaping the national security administration, making himself top policymaker to tackle the southern insurgency.

Gen Prayuth, now supervising the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), decided Thursday to restructure state security by dividing it into three arms, Isoc spokesman Banpot Phunpien said after a top-level meeting at army headquarters.

At the top and first level, Gen Prayuth will set policies to cope with the insurgency, with the National Security Council (NSC) advising him.

Those policies will be carried out over a two-year period from 2015 to 2017, Col Banpot said.

The insurgency lingers despite various approaches employed by the state, ranging from military operations to local development projects and,
since last year, peace talks with the separatist group, Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN).

Gen Prayuth wants to ensure policies are carried out more efficiently, Col Banpot said.

Another two levels of security arms will serve this purpose.

For the second security arm level, the general has assigned deputy army chief Udomdet Sitabutr to chair a new panel to put policies into practice, Col Banpot said.

NSC secretary-general Thawil Pliensri will be a secretary of the panel, helping Gen Udomdet streamline work on ending the unrest.

Meanwhile, Isoc Region 4’s Forward Command will handle the third level.

It will work with the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre to tackle militants and introduce development projects aimed at improving locals’ quality of life, Col Banpot said.

The move to establish three administrative levels was welcomed by former Democrat Party MP for Narathiwat, Cheaming Totayong, who chaired the House committee on national security.

Authorities cannot ignore social and cultural problems in the southernmost provinces, he said.

Above all, they must take quick action, he added.

Nimu Makajae, a respected Muslim leader in Yala, said he believed Gen Prayuth will be able to restore peace in the deep South.

“I think all agencies working to deal with southern problems will work together with more integration under
Gen Prayuth’s supervision,” Mr Nimu
said.

“I noticed state authorities had worked separately in the past which is perhaps why some problems there remained unsolved.”

The drug trade, contraband oil and human trafficking are fuelling violence in the deep South.

Some authorities were believed to be involved in these crimes.

An army source said he wants the NCPO to focus on the peace talks with the BRN.

A new team comprising authorities and civil society should take shape once a new government is in place, the source said.

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