Myanmar junta enforces mandatory military service for young people
The military junta in Myanmar has implemented compulsory military service for all young men and women, according to state media reports on Saturday. This move comes as the junta grapples with armed rebel forces seeking increased autonomy in various regions of the country.
Under the new directive, all men aged 18-35 and women aged 18-27 are required to serve for a period of up to two years. Specialists, such as doctors up to the age of 45, are mandated to serve for three years. The duration of service can be extended to a maximum of five years within the ongoing state of emergency, as stated by state media.
Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun emphasized the broader responsibility of citizens in safeguarding and defending the nation, stating, 'The duty to safeguard and defend the nation extends beyond just the soldiers but to all citizens. So I want to tell everyone to proudly follow this people's military service law.'
Myanmar has been in a state of turmoil since the military seized power in a coup in 2021. The Tatmadaw, as the military is known, has faced significant challenges since October, experiencing personnel losses while confronting a coordinated offensive by an alliance of three ethnic minority insurgent groups. Additionally, pro-democracy fighters aligned with the rebels have taken up arms against the junta, posing a formidable challenge.
This current situation marks the most significant challenge the military has encountered since it first assumed power in the former British colony in 1962. The enforcement of mandatory military service reflects the junta's efforts to address the growing unrest and resistance it faces within the country.