Adults forced to join Myanmar’s army

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Eati Akter


Myanmar’s junta government has made it mandatory for adult citizens to join the military. The announcement comes at a time when the country’s military has been fighting with insurgent groups.

In February 2021, the military overthrew the civilian government in a military coup and seized power in Myanmar. But over the past month, they have been losing one-on-one battles with rebel groups and anti-coup fighters.

In this situation, on Saturday, the junta government announced that it is mandatory for the country’s young adults to join the military. According to the new announcement, all men between the ages of 18 and 35 will now have to join Myanmar’s military and serve for at least two years.

And women between the ages of 18 and 27 will also have to serve in the military for the same period. However, the Junta government has not released detailed information on this matter.

According to a statement, the Ministry of Defense of the country will publish the necessary bye-laws, procedures, orders, notifications and instructions in this regard.

Myanmar’s military has suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of insurgent groups in various regions in recent times. In late 2023, three Myanmar insurgent groups attacked and seized border crossings and key roads in Shan State.

This state is very important for Myanmar from economic point of view. Because most of the trade with China is organized by road. Last month, the insurgent group Arakan Army (AA) said it had taken control of the last hilltop military bases in Paletoa and Mywat in Myanmar’s Chin state.

Earlier, Myanmar’s junta president Myint Soe warned that the country could be divided if the war with the rebels is not brought under control. A law was introduced in Myanmar in 2010 mandating the mandatory conscription of citizens into the country’s military. But so far it has not been implemented.

The law made it mandatory for citizens to serve in the military for two years.
However, the law also states that this period of military service can be extended up to five years in case of emergency.

The law also states that if any of the citizens do not obey this law, they can be jailed for the same period. After assuming power in 2021, the junta government declared a state of emergency in Myanmar. The state of emergency was recently extended for another six months.

Myanmar was under a repressive military regime for nearly 50 years before transitioning to democracy in 2011. A democratic government then took over the country.

But in February 2021, the country’s military retook power in a military coup. Since then, Myanmar has been plagued by war and violence. Thousands of citizens of the country lost their lives and more than 1 million people were displaced.

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