HomeEconomyMyanmar Junta Imposes Mandatory Military Service Amid Ongoing Chaos

Myanmar Junta Imposes Mandatory Military Service Amid Ongoing Chaos

Myanmar’s military junta has announced compulsory military service for all young men and women in the country, according to state media reports on Saturday. The move comes as the junta grapples with armed rebel forces seeking greater autonomy across various regions.

Under the new decree, all men aged 18-35 and women aged 18-27 are required to serve for up to two years in the military. Specialists such as doctors, aged up to 45, must serve for three years. The duration of service can be extended up to five years during the ongoing state of emergency, state media stated.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military seized power from the elected government in a coup in 2021. The Tatmadaw, as the military is known, has been facing significant challenges since October, with coordinated offensives by ethnic minority insurgent groups and pro-democracy fighters opposing the junta.

This latest move represents one of the junta’s responses to its struggle to recruit soldiers, as analysts suggest. There have been reports of non-combat personnel being deployed to the frontlines amid personnel losses suffered by the military.

Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun urged citizens to comply with the new military service law, stating, “The duty to safeguard and defend the nation extends beyond just the soldiers but to all citizens.”

While a law mandating conscription was enacted in 2010, it has not been enforced until now. The legislation stipulates that individuals failing to comply with the draft could face imprisonment for up to five years.

The imposition of mandatory military service underscores the ongoing unrest and the junta’s efforts to bolster its military capabilities amidst mounting resistance and opposition from various quarters within Myanmar.

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