Monday, May 4, 2009

National Service Forever

Eritrea is now one of the leading sources of refugees. Here's one reason why:
The law states that all Eritrean citizens, men and women between the ages of 18 and 50, have the obligation to perform national service. In normal circumstances, national service is supposed to last 18 months (article 8). This consists of six months military training and 12 months deployment either on military duties or some other national development project. However, article 13 (2) states that even after completing the compulsory 18 months, national service can be extended until 50 years of age “under mobilization or emergency situation directives given by the government.”

During the first four rounds of the national service, those who were called up were demobilized after 18 months, but after war broke out with Ethiopia in 1998, everything changed. Former fighters were called up again, reservists who had been demobilized were conscripted, and all national service recruits were retained under emergency directives.


herr doktor bimler said...

Looking on the bright side, at least Ethiopian literature will benefit from the addition of a local equivalent of 'Catch-22'.

Righteous Bubba said...

So they can point and laugh at the poor Eritreans?

herr doktor bimler said...

For my next trick, I will confuse Tigray with Tigridia pavonia.

Another Kiwi said...

That's the Tigridia pavonia named after the Russian Ballerina?

Capcha says we should be heading in a wessest direction