Kazakhstan plans to abolish conscription and have a mostly professional army by 2016, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported October 9, citing military chief of staff Col Gen. Saken Jasuzaqov.

Currently, conscription in Kazakhstan is 12 months for male citizens. It was reduced from 24-months by the Military Obligation and Military Service Act of July 2005.

Kazakhstan will introduce universal military training for all adult citizens, according to a government decree published on 2nd August.

"The goal of universal military training of citizens is to attract the population to civil defence activities, prepare for necessary contingencies, and build up the armed forces in the period of martial law," the document said.

Training will be compulsory for males aged 16 to 60 years, and women between 18 and 45 years who are childless or whose children are older than 10 years.

Frank Slijper

After the bloody suppression of protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, the European Union (and the US) ordered an arms embargo that applies until today. From a human rights perspective this is fully justified: the situation remains appalling and attempts at democratic reforms are nipped in the bud. At the same time the embargo is also clearly politically motivated, to keep China as small as possible in military terms. While the economic relationship with China has grown, military co-operation rightly remains a thorny issue. Despite cracks in the embargo it won't be off the table any time soon. Yet it is a question how long the blockade will be maintained with China strengthening its power base.

by Silke Makowski

In the region of Caucasus and Central Asia, no country offers a free choice between military service and alternative service, most of them even having no legal basis for a substitute service at all. The few states that passed a law on some kind of alternative service haven't implemented it according to international standards: in Georgia, substitute service isn't available in practice and in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, large bribes are necessary to perform it.


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28/04/1998 1 Conscription

conscription exists

Conscription is enshrined in art. 31 of the 1995 Constitution, which states: "Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the duty of every citizen of the republic. The citizens of the republic perform military service as laid down by law."

The present legal basis of conscription is the 1992 Military Service Act.

military service

All men above the age of 18 are liable for military service.

The length of military service is two years. [5]

Reserve obligations apply.

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