Emergency decree could be lifted in four southern districts

Emergency decree could be lifted in four southern districts

The 4th Army plans to seek approval for the executive decree for administration in emergency situations to be lifted in four southern districts, an army spokesman said.

The districts have been free of insurgency activities for a considerable time, with Pattani's Mai Kaen district likely to be the first to see the relaxation, Maj Gen Pramote Phrom-in said on Sunday.

The emergency decree was initially imposed in the entirety of the three southern border provinces -- Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat -- plagued with a Muslim insurgency. Since then, the decree has been lifted in certain districts.

A proposal to lift the decree in Pattani's Mai Kaen district.was made in a recent meeting with officials from the National Security Council, said Maj Gen Pramote, the 4th Army spokesman.

The next step is for the proposal to be forwarded to the cabinet for approval.

He said the three other districts where the emergency decree could be lifted, in order of priority, are  Kabang district of Yala, Waeng district of Narathiwat and Kapho district of Pattani.

He said an evaluation of the southern border provinces is made every three months to decide where the decree should remain in force and where it should be lifted.

Factors taken into account include the attitudes of people towards the authorities and the frequency of insurgency activities.

The emergency decree has previously been lifted in five districts - Mae Lan district of Pattani; Betong district of Yala; and Sungai Kolok, Si Sakhon and Sukhirin districts of Narathiwat.

Pattani's Mai Kaen district is the most likely to become the sixth, Maj Gen Pramote said.

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