On Monday, February 17, the National Security Council announced that the decree for administration in emergency situations in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat will be extended until Friday, June 19.
The decree was put in effect in 2005 to combat the separatist insurgency in the southern border provinces, and allows the government to impose curfews, ban public gatherings, limit travel, censor news, detain suspects without charge, and tap telephones, among other powers. Judicial oversight and security forces accountability are also relaxed. This will be the 59th extension to the state of emergency since it was declared in October 2005.
An ethnic and religious separatist insurgency is ongoing in the four southernmost provinces of Thailand - Songkhla, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala - which make up the historical Malay Patani region and are located in the extreme south of the country along the Thai-Malaysian border. Since 2001, over 7000 people have been killed (e.g. local residents, civil servants, security personnel, militants) and many more wounded in near-daily clashes and assassinations.
Individuals in the area are advised to monitor the situation, follow instructions issued by the local authorities, and remain vigilant.
As a reminder, most Western governments advise against nonessential travel to Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, as well as the province of Songkhla and areas along the Cambodia and Myanmar borders due to the presence of armed militias.