March 4, 2024 12:05 pm
Myanmar’s military government implements conscription law

The military in Myanmar has announced compulsory military service for all young men and women as the country’s turmoil continues. However, in recent months the country has been defeated in a series of battles with ethnic militias and anti-coup fighters. The move announced on Saturday will require all men aged 18-35, and women aged 18-27, to serve at least two years under military command.

The government had previously warned the country was in danger of breaking apart if it could not bring fighting under control. A law allowing conscription was introduced in Myanmar in 2010, but has not been enforced until now. Under the legislation, the terms of service can be extended up to a period of five years during a state of emergency. Those ignoring summons to serve can instead be jailed for the same period.

A state of emergency was declared by the junta in 2021 and was recently extended for another six months. Myanmar had endured almost 50 years of rule under oppressive military regimes before the move towards democracy in 2011. On February 1st, 2021, the military seized power and since then disorders and fighting have continued throughout the country resulting in over one million people being displaced and thousands being killed.

The performance of the army in its recent battles with ethnic armed groups has sparked criticisms and doubts among its supporters. Despite facing criticism from domestic and international organizations, including human rights groups, Myanmar’s junta remains determined to maintain control over the country through any means necessary.

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