Kuwait will reintroduce compulsory military service after the parliament approved legislation on Tuesday, a local daily reported. Under the legislation, Kuwait men must serve in the military for one year from the age of 18 and then remain in the reserves until they are 45 years old. Those who refuse face a two-year jail term.
The compulsory service would be reintroduced in 2017 after a 20-year hiatus, the daily said.
It follows a decision in the UAE last year to introduce compulsory military service, although for both men and women.
The Kuwait service also will affect men aged 18-35 years at the time the legislation is introduced, before gradually only applying to 18-year-olds, although they would be allowed to delay their service under certain circumstances including studying, single sons until the age of 35 and those with dependents, particularly if they are handicapped.
The 12-month period would include military training and service in Kuwait army units.
While in reserves, the men would be required to participate in 30 days of military service annually for 10 years or until they reach 45 years old.
However, in a significant move designed to encourage Kuwaitis into the private sector, MPs recommended exempting those employed in private businesses from military service.