January 30 - Serbia: Whoever does not report to the army will be sanctioned


Jan 30, 2024.  Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas

Defense Minister announced that while submitting regular annual report, he will explain the proposal on mandatory military service to the Commander-in-Chief.


However, that would only be the beginning because a public debate will follow, and in the end, the decision must be made by the National Assembly because a change in the law is also necessary.


"We will explain to the president why we believe that the suspension of mandatory military service should be abolished," Minister Miloš Vučević said earlier.


The proposal comes after a detailed consideration of the general security situation and the modern challenges faced by the Republic of Serbia as a militarily neutral country, which imposed the need to adjust the model of recruitment of the Serbian Armed Forces, which would enable the strengthening of the overall recruitment potential and the training of a greater number of citizens for the defense of our country", they stated recently in the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Blic reminds.


Based on the statements of high-ranking military and political officials, primarily Defense Minister Miloš Vučević, but also well-informed domestic military analysts, a picture is slowly being created of what mandatory military service in Serbia could look like, if a decision is made to reintroduce it, of course.


In previous years, various versions were heard, but according to the latest, the most recent one, military service would last four months, that is, as Minister Vučević pointed out, "no longer than four months".


It was suggested that the training should be in two parts - theoretical and practical. The theory would include the basics of military tactics and techniques, military law, first aid and self-defense, atomic, biological, chemical defense...


During the practical training, the recruits would learn how to disassemble and assemble weapons, shoot from different infantry weapons, they would go through unarmed combat and self-defense, movement and camouflage on the battlefield, digging trenches and building shelters, survival in nature, crossing obstacles (water, mines field...), and depending on the needs of the army, additional specialist training could be conducted.


Sanctions are also provided for not responding to military service. As written in the Criminal Code, "those who, without justifiable reason, do not respond to the call to perform military service or avoid receiving the call to perform that duty, will be fined or charged with up to one year in prison."


Each subsequent attitude entails more serious penalties. Avoiding conscription by going into hiding can lead to someone serving a three-year prison sentence, and leaving the country to avoid military service would result in up to eight years in prison upon return.


Finally, encouraging more people to avoid commitment can be sanctioned with 12 years behind bars. A mitigating circumstance is that anyone who evaded the obligation, and subsequently reports to the competent authorities, can also avoid the penalty.