A polygamous story that started trending on Monday has turned out to be hoax. The story purported that there was a shortfall in the male population compared to the female population in Eritrea as a result of the civil war with Ethiopia.
It further alleged that all men in Eritrea had been ordered to marry at least two wives or serve a prison term.
The hoax story first appeared on ‘Crazy Monday’, a Kenyan media outlet noted for satirical and scandalous stories and very popular among many young people because of its focus and interest.
Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel tweeted that “the media frenzy to parrot this ludicrous, fabricated and trite story… is appalling”.
“The story illustrates [the] vileness of the dark forces of disinformation and proclivity of others to readily embrace the negative narrative on Eritrea”.
Since the introduction of the current Marriage Law introduced by the EPLE in 1977, polygamy has been illegal in Eritrea.
While the federal government does not recognize polygamous marriages under civil law, districts governed by Sharia Law are exempt from this law and therefore are free to recognize polygamous marriage.