Military Council Ramps Up Conscription Scheme, Recruiting Second Batch

By Network Media Group
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Over 1,000 individuals have been compelled to undergo military training following the Military Council’s announcement of conscription, marking the second batch of draftees this year in a bid to bolster its dwindling armed forces, as reported by Burma Affairs and Conflict Study (BACS).

Since the conscription law was unveiled before Thingyan (Burmese New Year) in April, numerous individuals of draft age have gone into hiding, with some seeking refuge in areas under resistance control and others crossing the border into Thailand or neighbouring countries.

Despite these efforts, a spokesperson from BACS states, “They’re still managing to recruit many individuals for military training until now.” For this second batch, 4,000 individuals were called up, primarily from regions not under the regime’s stronghold post-Thingyan. The spokesperson elaborated, “This is a big number,” considering these areas are partially controlled by resistance forces. At least 1,000 of these individuals have already completed their basic military training.

Recruiting individuals for the second batch proved more challenging compared to the first, prompting soldiers to physically force them to join, a practice acknowledged by the Military Council itself.

The junta is summoning men aged between 18 to 35 and women aged between 18 to 27 for four years of service in what it terms the People’s Militia Force (PMF), although many refer to it as Pyusawhtee PMF.

This time around, individuals were initially sent to nearby battalions before undergoing military training at designated schools. Some were directed to the No 1 Sergeant Training School in Bahtoo or the army’s Computer and Technology University in Hopong.

There are twenty-one training centres across the country, with Shan State hosting five, the highest number nationwide. In Mandalay Region, there are three, with two each in Sagaing, Bago, Yangon, Irrawaddy regions, and Mon State. Naypyitaw, Magwe, and Taninthayi regions each have one.

With plans to establish more training centres, the BRAC spokesperson advises youths to relocate from their areas in advance.