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Myanmar junta enforces military service law

by Agence France Presse

YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar’s junta is enforcing a law allowing the military to summon all men aged 18–35 and women aged 18–27 to serve for at least two years, it said on Saturday, as it struggles to crush opposition to its 2021 coup.

The country has been in turmoil since the military seized power that year, with massive pro-democracy protests morphing into widespread armed resistance.

The junta “issued the notification of the effectiveness of People’s Military Service Law starting from February 10th, 2024,” the junta’s information team said in a statement.

The law was authored by a previous junta in 2010 but was never brought into force.

Saturday’s statement did not give further details but said the junta’s defence ministry would “release necessary bylaws, procedures, announcements, orders, notifications and instructions.”

Under the 2010 law, during a state of emergency, the terms of service under military command can be extended up to five years, and those ignoring summonses to serve can be jailed for the same period.

The Myanmar junta announced a state of emergency when it seized power in 2021, with the army recently extending it for a further six months.

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