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United Front for the Independence of Pattani [Bersatu]

The United Front for the Independence of Pattani or "Bersatu" (Malay for "United") was formed with the idea to unify resources so foreign sources of support could be refused. More significantly, this demonstrated the effectiveness of the Thai government's success in combating separatist groups. Beratsu claims 60-80 fighter trained in SW Asia.

The Bersatu was formed with an idea of unifying all splinter terrorist groups together. On 31 August 1989, core leaders of all terrorist movement groups, namely the the Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) Mai ("New" PULO), the original PULO, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Pattani (BRN), the Barisan National Pember-Basan Pattani (BNPP) and the Mujahadeen Pattani, held a joint meeting called "the gathering of the fighters for Pattani." The meeting agreed to set up the "Payong Organization" to unify all the movements and to carry out the struggle in the same direction in order to avoid creating confusion in accepting financial donations from foreign countries.

In 1991, the name of the organization was changed to "The United Front for the Independence of Pattani" or "Bersatu" as it is still called nowadays. These groups have employed the tactic of deploying small armed bans to carry out guerrilla activities [in the jungles]. They set up no permanent bases on Thai soil. Instead, they are on the move all the time and avoid engaging in armed clashes with Thai Government authorities. If a brief clash should occur, the terrorists would see to it that they must withdraw from the scene of fighting immediately. Fighting must not be protracted. If an opportunity should arise, they would resort to using an ambush tactic or launch a surprise attack on the government authorities and positions. They choose to retaliate government suppression drives is by conducting sabotage activities against public facilities in town or on the plain.

The terrorists have carried out both political and military activities. They have conducted propaganda campaigns by distorting facts to mobilize and convince the masses, especially Thai Muslims in the southern border provinces and in foreign countries, that the Thai Government has been oppressing the Muslim population. Having said that, they aspire to internationalize the issue so as to call for foreign intervention. They have set up conditions and demands that are unacceptable to and cannot be met by the government. They have tried in every way to create rifts among the Thai Buddhists and Thai Muslims. They have tried to seek funds as well as assistance in other fields from other Islamic countries and have sought funds through the extortion method for carrying out the struggle. They have tried to disrupt the government's education program by attacking schools, harming and threatening the life and property of school teachers, coercing parents to stop sending their children to Thai schools, terrorizing and harming those who cooperate with the government authorities, creating achievements and influence by harming state authorities, planting bombs at public premises, and committing arson against public buildings.




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