- More than 20 southern Sudanese women were arrested and beaten for nude dressing, a defiance of the new moral edict.
According to the country's minister for gender, Mary Kiden Kimbo, between 20 and 30 girls were picked up from different points, whisked into police lorries, taken to police station where some of them were beaten up.
"This is absolutely not acceptable: it is not the job of police to judge what is and what is not a correct way to dress in such a manner of blanket punishment," 'AFP' quoted her as saying.
Prior to the police crackdown on young women, the commissioner of Juba county, the capital of southern Sudan, Albert Pitia Redantore, on 2 October ordered a ban on "all bad behaviours, activities and imported illicit cultures" by women. This includes the wearing of trousers, short shirts or skimpy tops.
Ms Kimbo said most of the young women were arrested after they left church service in Juba on Sunday. Others were rounded up in market places.
The new order was meant to "preserve the cultural values, dignity and achievements of the people of southern Sudan, checking out the intrusion of foreign cultures into our societies, for the sake of bringing up a good generation."
Heavy penalty awaits anyone who defies the new edict - a practice which Ms Kimbo said was returning to the country to the old days of Shariah. She said such orders can create dangerous situation leading to mob justice, after all, principles of gender equality was enshrined in the regions's constitutions.
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