Mozambique plans to enroll 170,000 youth for military service this year, the country’s Defence Minister, Atanasio Ntumuke, said on Monday.
Mr Ntumuke was speaking at the official launch of the annual conscription campaign in the central province of Manica, where he appealed to the young adults to exercise their duty to defend the country’s independence and sovereignty.
“Observing the law, the government plans to enroll 170,000 young people this year from both sexes, who will contribute to defend the country’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, which is a sacred duty and honour to all Mozambicans.”
As usual, the mandatory registration campaign runs for the first two months of the year.
It covers not only those who turn 18 in 2019 but anyone, who for some reason failed to register in previous years, provided they are under 35 years old.
The Mozambique Defence Armed Forces were formed in mid-August 1994 from the previous warring factions of the Mozambique Civil War which ended in 1992.
Mozambique has also been involved in many peacekeeping operations in Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor and Sudan.
The Mozambican Army was formed in 1976 from three conventional battalions, two of which were trained in Tanzania and a third of which was trained in Zambia.
In 2016, the Mozambican Army consisted of 10,000 troops organised into three special force battalions, seven light infantry battalions, two engineer battalions, two artillery battalions, and a single logistics battalion.