BANGKOK, Thailand – The Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) has threatened to quit peace talks with the government as bloodshed during a Ramadan ceasefire dampened hopes of an end to years of fighting, sources confirmed Thursday (August 8th), according to AFP.
In a video posted on YouTube, three rebels wearing balaclavas and combat gear and holding automatic weapons said the BRN would withdraw from the talks. They claimed Thai authorities had failed to meet the conditions of the negotiations, but did not detail their complaints.
The BRN had agreed to a 40-day Ramadan ceasefire that was supposed to run until August 18th. But militant attacks restarted only days into the truce, with local observers recording 29 deaths.
It was not possible to verify who the militants in the clip represent. But an official involved in the talks suggested they belong to a faction within the BRN, which has shown signs of internal division recently.
"The clip is the work of people who disagree with (BRN lead negotiator Hassan) Taib and want to stop negotiations," Thai army negotiator General Nipat Thonglek said, playing down its significance.