DR Congo women flogged for wearing short skirts

Militiamen flogged women and girls in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo for wearing short skirts or trousers, the government said on Saturday, vowing to punish those responsible.

According to a readout of a cabinet meeting published on Saturday, Prime Minister Jean-Michel Lukonde "condemned the degrading and inhumane abuses by the militiamen" from the armed Malaika group.

The militia, according to Lukonde, have "recently flogged girls and women dressed in short skirts and trousers" in the area under their control.

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

The Malaika militia, which claims to represent local interests, wants the government to give them a larger share of the revenue from the Salamabila gold mines.

It is one of several armed groups operating freely in the volatile, mineral-rich east of Central Africa's vast country.

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