The military in Myanmar has announced compulsory military service for all young men and women as the country’s turmoil continues. The move, which requires all men aged 18-35 and women aged 18-27 to serve at least two years under military command, comes after a series of defeats against ethnic militias and anti-coup fighters. Despite the government’s efforts to bring fighting under control, the country remains in a state of emergency.
The junta, which took control of the country on 1 February 2021, has faced criticism and doubts from its supporters following recent battles with ethnic armed groups. These groups have captured border crossings and roads carrying most of the overland trade with China. In response to these defeats, the defence ministry has announced that it will release necessary bylaws, procedures, announcements orders, notifications and instructions.
Myanmar had endured almost 50 years of rule under oppressive military regimes before the move towards democracy in 2011. However, since then, disorders and fighting have affected the country ever since, with more than one million people being displaced and thousands killed. The performance of the army in its recent battles has sparked criticisms and doubts among its supporters.
A law allowing conscription was introduced in Myanamar in 2010 but has not been enforced until now under a state of emergency. Those ignoring summons to serve can instead be jailed for up to five years during a state of emergency. This move is a clear indication that the government is taking drastic measures to maintain control over the situation in Myanmar.
In conclusion, while this move by the government may be seen as a desperate attempt to maintain order in an increasingly unstable country, it also highlights the severity of the crisis facing Myanmar today. With more than one million people displaced and thousands killed due to fighting between different factions, it is clear that this war will not be resolved overnight.
It is crucial for international leaders to work together with Myanmar’s government to find a peaceful solution that respects human rights and addresses underlying issues such as political instability and economic inequality. Only then can Myanmar hope for lasting peace and stability.
In summary, compulsory military service for young men and women in Myanmar is not only an indication of desperation but also highlights how far off we are from achieving lasting peace in this troubled region.