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UPDATED: 11:41, October 23, 2005
Serbia-Montenegro shortens obligatory military service to six months
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The Serbia- Montenegro parliament adopted Saturday an amendment to the law on the army, envisaging the shortening of obligatory military service for conscripts from nine to six months.

The amendment, applying to soldiers already in military service, was proposed on Sept. 8 by the Serbia-Montenegro government. It has said that shortening military service would not weaken the Balkan country's defense but would serve to improve it.

The cash-strapped military has complained that it lacks funds to support a nine-month service for conscripts.

On Saturday, the parliament also adopted an amendment shortening the duration of civilian service for conscientious objectors from 13 to nine months.

Two years ago, the military approved civilian service for draft-age conscientious objectors allowing them to serve 13 months in a civilian institution instead of nine in the armed forces.

The Serbia-Montenegro army has launched major reforms since late 2000, following the ouster of former president Slobodan Milosevic.

Source: Xinhua

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