Wed, 27 Mar 2019

At least 10 men have been arrested for allegedly conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony on the Tanzanian Island of Zanzibar, says a report.

According to BBC, police said the arrests were made over the weekend after they received a tip off from the public.

No charges had yet been brought against the men, all Tanzanian, who were being held at a police station.

This came a few days after Dar es Salaam governor Paul Makonda launched an anti-gay crackdown, threatening to arrest people suspected of being homosexuals.

Makonda urged citizens to start reporting homosexuals for round-ups which were set to begin in the east Africa country.

Makonda also called on citizens to report suspected gay people to him, adding that a 17-member surveillance squad had been formed to investigate people and scour their social media profiles.

Makonda, a fervent Christian and loyal ally of President John Magufuli, said although he expected criticism from outsiders for his hardline stance, he preferred "to anger those countries than to anger God," AFP reported.

According to News24, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation, however, published a statement on its website last week, stating that Makonda's call was his own opinion and not reflective of the country's official stance on the matter.

The statement said that the ministry would "continue to respect all international agreements on human rights that have been signed and ratified".

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