Myanmar’s military government enforces conscription law
As Myanmar’s ongoing turmoil persists, the government has decreed mandatory military service for young men and women across the nation.
Following the army’s seizure of power from the civilian government through a coup in February 2021, it has encountered setbacks in clashes with ethnic militias and anti-coup forces in recent times.
The latest directive, announced on Saturday, mandates all men aged 18-35 and women aged 18-27 to serve a minimum of two years under military authority. Specifics regarding this mandate have not yet been disclosed.
However, the junta stated that its defense ministry would issue the necessary regulations, procedures, announcements, orders, notifications, and instructions. The military has experienced a series of embarrassing defeats in recent confrontations
At the end of last year, three ethnic insurgent armies in Shan State – supported by other armed groups that oppose the government – captured border crossings and roads carrying most of the overland trade with China.
Last month, the Arakan Army (AA) said it had taken control of Paletwa in Chin State and the last military post in Paletwa township, the hilltop base at Meewa.
The military-installed president of Myanmar, Myint Swe – a former general – has previously warned the country is in danger of breaking apart if the government could not bring the fighting under control.
A law allowing conscription was introduced in Myanamar in 2010 but has been not 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 announced by the country’s junta in 2021 and was recently extended for a further six months.
Myanmar had endured almost 50 years of rule under oppressive military regimes before the move towards democracy in 2011.
On 1 February 2021, the military announced it had taken control of the country.
Disorders and fighting have affected the country ever since, with more than one million people being displaced and thousands killed.
The performance of the army in its recent battles with ethnic armed groups – some of which have ended in defeats and retreats – has sparked criticisms and doubts among its supporters.