The peace talks held last week in Malaysia between the government and key figures of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani (BRN) created a feeling of anxiety across the country.
There is a consensus among top officials and the military that the BRN is the core group responsible for the violence in the deep South, which has claimed more than 5,000 lives, many of them civilians, over the past 10 years.
Efforts to persuade the leaders of the insurgency to talk have been made by several administrations. But in the past, such moves were low-key, as officials lacked confidence that the BRN truly represented the armed groups. Mostly it was found that it did not.
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