Unmarried couples in Burundi are being forced to tie the knots as part of an effort by the government to reform morals in the country.
According to AFP’s report, President Pierre Nkurunziza has given those concerned ultimatum to legalise their relationships or their children risk losing medical and education benefits.
The report said the order to unwed couple to marry before the end of the year was given on Friday.
It reportedly followed the launch of a campaign this month by President Nkurunziza “to moralise society”.
Government officials were said to have begun organising mass weddings.
However, some civil society activists opposed it, saying it is violation of human rights because the state has no right to attack two adults who have decided to live together without being married.
Since 2015, when Nkurunziza ran for a controversial third term, Burundi has been in turmoil with several people killed in political violence and near half a million of the country’s population fled for refugee camps in neighbouring countries.