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Myanmar junta imposes mandatory military service for young population


NEW DELHI: Myanmar’s military junta has announced that all young men and women in the country are now required to serve in the military, according to state media. This move comes as the junta struggles to control armed rebel forces seeking greater autonomy in different parts of Myanmar.
Under the new mandate, men between the ages of 18 and 35 and women between the ages of 18 and 27 must serve for a period of up to two years.However, specialists such as doctors, who are up to 45 years old, are required to serve for three years. Moreover, in the ongoing state of emergency, the service duration can be extended to a total of five years, as reported by state media.
Ever since the military seized power from the elected government in a coup earlier this year, Myanmar has been in a state of turmoil. The Tatmadaw, as the military is known, has been engaged in a fierce battle against a coordinated offensive led by three ethnic minority insurgent groups, as well as pro-democracy fighters who have taken up arms against the junta.
This current conflict poses the greatest challenge to the military since it first took control of the country from British colonial rule in 1962. As a result, the Tatmadaw has been struggling to recruit soldiers and has resorted to deploying non-combat personnel to the frontlines.
According to junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun, the responsibility to protect and defend the nation extends beyond just the soldiers and encompasses all citizens. He urged everyone to comply with the newly implemented people’s military service law.
Although a law requiring conscription was introduced in 2010, it has remained unenforced until now. Failure to comply with the draft can lead to imprisonment for up to five years, according to the legislation.
(With agency inputs)

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