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Tanzania arrests pregnant schoolgirls, launch hunt for baby daddies

Five pregnant schoolgirls together with their parents were arrested and then released on bail over the weekend in Tandahimba, northern Tanzania.

The arrest came following an order by District Commissioner Sebastian Waryuba in a crackdown to end teenage pregnancies in the region.

According to the District Administrative Secretary Mr Mohamed Azizi, authorities are still looking for the men who impregnated the girls who disappeared shortly after a directive was issued.

“We have managed to arrest the girls and their parents but unfortunately those who impregnated the girls have escaped and we are looking for them,” Mr Azizi told The Citizen.

Adolescent pregnancy in the region have been on the rise recently. In 2015, 20 cases were reported while in 2017, some 27 cases were recorded.

Gender and Human Rights activists have decried the directive arguing that the authorities should arrest the culprits rather than the victims.

In June last year, East Africans and women’s rights groups condemned Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s comments that schoolgirls who give birth should not be allowed back to school.