YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar’s government has implemented a new compulsory military service law as it continues to face challenges from armed ethnic militias and resistance forces throughout the country. According to state media, the law requires all men aged 18 to 35 and women aged 18 to 27 to serve for up to two years under military command. Specialists like doctors, aged up to 45, are required to serve for three years. This law, which has been in place since 2010 but previously unenforced, aims to protect the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
The introduction of the People’s Military Service Law emphasizes citizens’ duty to protect the unity and sovereignty of Myanmar. State media explains that the law has been enacted for this purpose. Additional details and instructions are expected to be released by the defense ministry at a later date.
This move comes as Myanmar’s military regime extends its state of emergency for another six months. The regime initially seized power through a coup three years ago, ousting Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader. The country has since witnessed escalating violence, particularly since last October, when powerful armed ethnic militias joined resistance forces in mounting major offensives against the military.
The implementation of compulsory military service raises concerns about the human rights implications and the impact it may have on the general population. Critics argue that forcing individuals into military service infringes upon their personal freedoms and rights. It is also feared that this move may deepen divisions within Myanmar’s society.
Despite international pressure and condemnation, the military junta remains steadfast in its grip on power. The country’s citizens continue to bear the brunt of the ongoing conflict, with no immediate resolution in sight. As the situation unfolds, Myanmar’s future remains uncertain, with the impact of this new law on the nation yet to be fully understood.