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Condemnations trail flogging of women wearing short skirts, trousers in Congo



There have been widespread international condemnation following a video where young women and girls were flogged by militiamen in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for allegedly wearing short skirts and trousers on Saturday, with the government vowing to punish the perpetrators.

The flogging of the victims was reportedly carried out by the Malaika militia, which claims to represent the interests of local people in the eastern region of the country.

The Malaika is one of several armed groups that operate freely in the volatile, mineral-rich east of the vast Central African country and has been putting pressure on the government to hand over a bigger share of revenue from the Salamabila gold mines to them.

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While reacting to the incident,
Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde condemned what he called the “degrading and inhuman abuses by the militiamen” from the armed group, in a statement he presented at a cabinet meeting on Saturday.

Lukonde said the militia, who are imposing Islamic sharia punishments in the area under their control, had “recently flogged girls and women dressed in short skirts and trousers”.

He added that a government delegation would be dispatched to the Salambila area in the eastern province of Maniema, and report back so the perpetrators could be punished.

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