Congo-Brazzaville authority has banned people from wearing the full-face Islamic veil in public places as part of moves to maintain secular values in the country.
People are prohibited from spending nights in mosques as well, including migrants who have fled from the Central African Republic because of civil war.
“The government banned spending the night in mosques because they are places for prayer, not sleep,” He added.
Authorities said to the BBC “the measures are designed to counter extremism,”
Thousands of people, mostly Muslims, have fled violence in the neighboring Central African Republic and have been taking shelter in mosques.
The Republic of Congo is the first country in the region to ban full face veils and burqas.
A government spokesman said to the BBC that Congo is a secular country which respects all religions, but said that some people may abuse the full-face veil as a disguise in order to commit terrorist attacks.
Less than 5 percent of the population of Congo-Brazzaville are Muslim.