Saturday, 11 November 2017

Burundi Orders Unmarried Couples To Wed By End Of 2017

Unmarried couples in the East African country of Burundi have until the end of the year to legalise their relationships through church or state registrations.

In May, President Pierre Nkurunziza signed a new law which the government says will help protect women and create a more moral society, but some disagree.

The government insists a legal document recognising a marriage helps protect women and their children, especially when it comes to issues such as inheritance. However, others say the new marriage law infringes on people's religious beliefs, customs and practices.

The Interior ministry spokesman, Terence Ntahiraja, told the AFP news agency that Burundi was facing a population explosion, which he blamed on “illegal marriages”, polygamy, bigamy and “hundreds of schoolgirls getting pregnant”.

He said church and state-sanctioned weddings were the solution and were a patriotic duty.

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