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Conflict in Thailand's four southernmost provinces has claimed more than 6,300 lives since 2004 but rarely makes headlines outside the country

Southern Thailand Forgotten Conflict
Southern Thailand Forgotten Conflict

Tourism has boomed in Thailand over the past decade, but how many of the backpackers island-hopping around its palm-fringed shores are aware that a brutal conflict is raging in its deep south?

The civilian toll is staggering and yet news of the bombings, the beheadings, the pernicious pursuit of soft targets like teachers and monks, barely makes it out of the region. The government, currently led by junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha, seems to have neither the ability nor the inclination to make serious efforts to stem an insurgency now fuelled as much by criminality and power as by religion, ethnicity or separatism.

A silent war
A legacy of mental health problems
Tourism has boomed in Thailand over the past decade, but how many of the backpackers island-hopping around its palm-fringed shores are aware that a brutal insurgency is raging in its deep south? Read more. “I don’t want to remember, and I don’t want to be remembered.” Health professionals in Southern Thailand have witnessed a steady rise in mental health problems as a result of the decades-long conflict. Read more.

Timeline adapted from work by James Bean

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