Troop withdrawals from South in April

Troop withdrawals from South in April

The army will in April begin withdrawing troops deployed to the troubled far South from regiments based in the North, Central and Northeast regions, supreme commander Gen Worapong Sanganetr said on Monday.

Speaking after a meeting with commanders of the three armed forces, Gen Worapong said the withdrawals were according to plan.

It was always intended that when the situation in the southern border area improved, soldiers deployed there to combat the Muslim insurgency from the 1st Army in the Central Region, the 2nd Army Region in the Northeast and the 3rd Army Region in the North would be withdrawn, leaving only soldiers of the 4th Army Region operating in their home area.

"This is an indication that the situation in the three southern border provinces has improved. The army, as advised by the Internal Security Operations Command, will take steps to withdraw the troops as planned," said the supreme commander.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Army Regions have be rotating troops through deployments in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces to combat the insurgency.

The government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also plans to negotiate with insurgency groups operating in the three provinces, with Malaysia acting as the facilitator for talks.

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