Burma, engulfed in civil war since the military putsch just three years ago, now imposes compulsory military service of at least two years on men and women. This is the first time that a government has activated an old conscription law from 2010, proof that on the ground, the army is facing an unprecedented series of setbacks.
In Burma, the army needs reinforcements. This, pushed back on several fronts by armed ethnic and pro-democracy groups, is struggling to cope: thousands of men have surrendered and some have fled the Burmese battlefield by crossing the borders with India, China or Bangladesh again. According to the government of national unity in exile, 14,000 soldiers have defected since the 2021 military coup.
Call to arms
Faced with militias galvanized by their gains in land, especially in Shan State in the northeast of the country, the junta’s army therefore responded with a call to arms. Men aged 18 to 35 and women aged 18 to 27 will have to serve at least two years.
“ National military service for everyone is essential given the situation our country is experiencing “, justified the junta which brought out a law dating from 2010. The measure comes into force with immediate effect. Anyone who fails to appear when summoned risks prison sentences of up to five years. Here again this is proof that the army is in difficulty.
International guestBurma: “The escalation of the conflict will depend on the numbers in the army”