The Grand Mufti in Eritrea, which is the nation’s highest religious authority has declared that every man must marry at least two women or face a jail sentence.
In a statement written in Arabic, it assures of government support to the polygamous marriages. The Eritrean government will compensate Eritrean men for the marriage ceremonies and houses. They further stated that “based on the law of God in polygamy, and given the circumstances in which the country is experiencing in terms of men shortage, the Eritrean department of Religious Affairs has decided on the following.
“First that every man shall marry at least two women and the man who refuses to do so shall be subjected to life imprisonment with hard labour.
“The woman who tries to prevent her husband from marrying another wife shall be punished to life imprisonment.
The declaration seems motivated in part by the shortage of men which is a by product of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War which took placed from 1998-2000. The war left about 150,000 Eritrean soldiers dead out of a population of roughly 4 million.