Myanmar New Military Service Law 2024

March 19, 2024

Myanmar’s military enforces for the first time a 2010 conscription law that subjects all young men and women aged 18-35 and women 18-27 to serve military for at least two years and medical field professionals aged up to 45 are to serve for 3 years.   The junta issued the notification of the effectiveness of the People Military Service law starting from February 10, 2024. The law was authored by a previous junta in 2010 but was never brought into force. The nation was in turmoil ever since the military took over. On 1 February the Myanmar military launched coup against the civilian government. The current ruling military council, called the State Administration Council, came to power in 2021 after ousting the elected civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

On 1 February 2021, President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were arrested. The coup d’etat occurred a day before the parliament of Myanmar was to wear in. The people’s Defence Force armed insurgencies have erupted throughout Myanmar in response to the military government's anti-coup protests.

The nation has been in turmoil since the military takeover in February of that year, leading to mass protests and civilian arrests. Nearly ten thousand were arrested and killed and pro- democracy activists were executed by the Junta.

The people some choose to flee into the universities or the Buddhist congregation, since members of religious orders are exempt from the conscription law, and students are also granted temporary deferments.

Protests and restlessness had increased nation wid in concern with this mandatory military service, thus kidnapping civilians for military service and forced labour and even-using them as human shields undermining the fundamental rights and Human rights and the dignity of its citizens. The already destabilized nation now has an unsupported precarious position and less tolerance environment. The Statewide television announcement on this made a nation-wide armed resistance against the rule.

The law has been activated in the wake of the army’s biggest setbacks since the countrywide conflict erupted after the takeover. A surprise offensive launched last October by an alliance of armed ethnic organization in less than three months captured a large swathe of territory in northeastern Myanmar along the Chinese border.

The rout inspired resistance forces in other parts of the country to launch their own attacks. In recent weeks, fighting in the western state of Rakhine caused hundreds of state security personnel to flee into neighboring Bangladesh.

The army faces two enemies, the pro-democracy forces formed after the army takeover, and better-trained and equipped ethnic minority armed groups that have been battling for greater autonomy for decades. There are alliances between the resistance groups.

Evading conscription is punishable by three to five years in prison and a fine. Members of religious orders are exempt, while civil servants and students can be granted temporary deferments.

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