Myanmar goes for military conscription plan

Myanmar goes for military conscription plan

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Myanmar goes for military conscription plan

The Myanmar junta holds a military parade to mark the country’s 79th Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw on March 27, 2024

The chief of Myanmar’s junta said Wednesday that the enforcement of a conscription law is necessary for the nation’s peace and stability as conflicts continue between the military and pro-democracy and ethnic-minority armed groups.

The junta announced a plan in early February to begin a draft based on the law enacted in 2010, a move that has driven young people to try to leave the country to avoid the service.

“In accordance with our nation’s geopolitical significance and the global context, the adoption of a military conscription system has become a prerequisite,” Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said in front of 7,750 troops gathered for a military parade in Naypyitaw on the 79th Armed Forces Day.

The decision came as local media reported deteriorating morale among soldiers due to exhaustion from relentless fighting since the coup of Feb. 1, 2021, resulting in large-scale surrendering to anti-military forces in recent months.

With the conscription slated to start in April at the earliest, men aged 18 to 35 and women aged 18 to 27 will be drafted into the armed forces for two years, possibly extending up to five years.

The parade was held without tanks or missile carriers, which had been shown during similar events in past years. Since some months ago, the military has lost many of its positions and territories to the ethnic-minority insurgents in the northern states and other parts of the country.

Armed Forces Day in Myanmar marks the day in 1945 when Gen. Aung San, the father of the ousted and detained civilian leader Suu Kyi, led the resistance movement against the Japanese occupying forces during World War II.

Military attaches from the other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, except for Singapore and Brunei, as well as from China, Russia, India and Pakistan, attended the event.