JAKARTA - The Ministry of Religious Affairs plans to send several Muslim clerics to South Thailand to carry out a peacekeeping mission, Minister Suryadharma Ali said here on Wednesday. He said the deployment is a follow up to a meeting between representatives from Indonesia and south Thailand provincial government recently.
During a meeting with South Thailand delegates, Indonesian Vice Minister of Defense Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin expressed hope the Thailand government can make use of dialogue to solve conflict in South Thailand instead of using military forces.
The conflict in South Thailand erupted in 2004 when the military resorted to violence to crush Muslim youth movements following attacks on tens of Muslim youths hiding in Krue Se Mosque. The conflict has claimed the lives of at least 500 people since 2004.