PSD proposes mandatory one-year military service for high school graduates

By Esther Muhozi
On 25 March 2024 at 10:32

The Democratic and Progressive Party (PSD), which advocates for democracy and the well-being of citizens, has demonstrated its commitment to enhancing security by proposing an extension of military service for both men and women who have completed secondary education, starting from the age of 18, to include additional training beyond one year in military service while continuing their education.

This is one of the 82 articles supporting the goals and objectives outlined in the PSD manifesto for the upcoming general elections scheduled for July 2024.

The method of integrating conscription into national defense laws varies widely across the approximately 85 countries globally that employ it.

Countries requiring compulsory military service, depending on individual circumstances, typically enlist individuals from the age of 18.

Senator Nkusi Juvenal, speaking at the Second National Congress of the PSD party, where the manifesto was unveiled on March 24, 2024, emphasized that in prioritizing security, there is a need to introduce an annual conscription quota specifically for secondary school graduates.

He stated, "The PSD party advocates for the introduction of an annual quota for conscription of secondary school graduates."

While this provision is not explicitly stated in the current legislation, it implies that every individual completing secondary education would be eligible for conscription into the military when required.

In the East African region, Rwanda mandates conscription at the age of 18, Sudan requires individuals to serve for 24 months, but conscription is not enforced in Tanzania.

In Somalia, the law allows conscription for individuals aged between 18 and 40 for men and between 18 and 30 for women, but it is not actively implemented.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, individuals aged between 18 and 45 are eligible for conscription when necessary.

In Europe, approximately 15 countries enforce conscription. In Russia, individuals aged between 18 and 27 are required to serve for one year, with 25% entering annually.

The Russian Ministry of Defense’s website indicates that many government and private sector jobs require military experience.

Joining the military often exempts individuals from state university entrance exams.

In Austria, conscription registration starts at 18, and service can last up to nine months. Those unwilling to serve can opt for civil service, which lasts for nine months.

In Ukraine, conscription laws were enacted in 2013 but were amended after Russia annexed Crimea. As of 2021, around 13,575 individuals had been conscripted.

In South Korea, men aged between 18 and 36 are obliged to serve in the military.

In countries like Algeria, Angola, Eritrea, and elsewhere in Africa, individuals as young as 18 can be conscripted into military service.

Some countries implement selective compulsory military service based on quotas and the knowledge of conscripts.

In Benin, individuals aged between 18 and 35 are conscripted, but students are exempt. In Cape Verde, conscription lasts for two years.

In Egypt, conscription is mandatory for men aged between 18 and 30, with a reserve commitment until the age of 36, after which they may be placed in a standby reserve.

The manifesto was unveiled at the Second National Congress of the PSD party.