The government in Myanmar has announced mandatory military service for all young men and women as the country’s turmoil continues. In recent months, it 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 junta that seized power in Myanmar last February has faced criticism for its handling of the crisis, which has left more than one million people displaced and thousands killed. Despite warnings from international leaders, the government has refused to negotiate with ethnic militias or pro-democracy activists who have been fighting against it since last year.
A law allowing conscription was introduced in Myanmar in 2010, but it was not enforced until now due to concerns about its impact on human rights. Under the legislation, those ignoring summons to serve can be jailed for up to two years. However, critics say that conscripting young people into the military could lead to further conflict and instability in an already fragile country.
Myanmar had endured almost 50 years of rule under oppressive military regimes before the move towards democracy in 2011. The current government’s failure to maintain order has led to growing unrest among its citizens and international pressure from countries such as the United States and European Union to intervene and restore peace and stability to the region.
The announcement of compulsory military service comes as a result of the government’s efforts to reassert control over its territory after a string of defeats against ethnic militias. In recent months, these groups have captured key border crossings and roads carrying most of the overland trade with China, causing significant economic hardship for Myanmar.
However, critics say that this move will only exacerbate existing tensions between ethnic minorities and central authorities. Some argue that imposing mandatory military service on young people is a violation of their human rights and could lead to further conflict.
The junta said it would release necessary bylaws, procedures, announcements orders, notifications and instructions related to conscription soon.
In conclusion, while compulsory military service may seem like a way for Myanmar’s government to reassert control over its territory after recent losses against ethnic militias and anti-coup fighters; it remains uncertain if this move will succeed in bringing lasting peace or stability.