As conscription looms, Myanmar’s young are forced to choose—flight or fight?

With few options open to them, many are sure of only one thing—their refusal to fight for a regime that has thrown their country into chaos

Two weeks after Myanmar’s military junta announced plans to begin forcing young people to join its army’s depleted ranks, many are growing increasingly desperate to find some way to avoid this fate ahead of a recruitment drive expected to begin in April.

The regime says that under the 2010 People's Military Service Law, as many as 14 million Myanmar nationals are eligible for the draft. Most would be required to provide two years of military service—or up to five years in the event of a “national emergency.”

While women—who make up more than half of this figure—will not be called up anytime soon, according to junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun, the announcement has alarmed everyone of draft age, as well as their families.

Thet Thet, a resident of Yangon’s Thaketa Township, said she has already begun looking for ways to get her 21. . .

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