Women and girls have been flogged by militiamen in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for wearing short skirts or trousers, the government said on Saturday, vowing to punish the perpetrators.
According to a summary of a cabinet meeting released on Saturday, Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde "condemned the humiliating and barbaric abuses by the militiamen" from the armed Malaika group.
The militia, according to Lukonde, has "recently flogged girls and women dressed in short skirts and trousers" in the region under their authority.
According to Lukonde, a government team will be deployed to the location – Salambila, in the eastern province of Maniema – and will report back so that the culprits may be punished.
The Malaika militia, which claims to represent the local people's interests, wants the government to give them a larger portion of the earnings from the Salamabila gold mines.
It is one among numerous armed organizations that operate freely in Central Africa's turbulent, mineral-rich east.
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