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No, Eritrea Isn't Forcing Men to Marry at Least Two Wives

A traditional Eritrean wedding. Photo released under Creative Commons by Flickr user CharlesFred.

A traditional Eritrean wedding. Photo released under Creative Commons by Flickr user CharlesFred.

A fake story posted online alleging that the Eritrean government has passed a law forcing men to marry at least two wives or go to jail has prompted funny memes from Twitter users across Africa.

The story claims that the law was passed due to a shortage of men because of heavy casualties during the war with Ethiopia. The Eritrean–Ethiopian War took place from 1998 to 2000.

Sahara Reporters, a New York-based, Nigeria-focused news site, spoke with an Eritrean government representative at the Eritrean Mission at the United Nations in New York, who denied the rumor.

The website also spoke with Eritrean expert Awet Weldemichael, an assistant professor at Queen's University in Canada, who denied the story as well. Eritrean government officials have since refuted the story.

While it is not clear exactly where the story originated, many of the news sites that have published the hoax have yet to retract it.

Twitter users found fodder for memes in the hoax story. Here is a sample of hilarious tweets after the story appeared online:

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