Some 17 men have been arrested in South Sudan, accused of trying to make themselves fat for a banned fattest man competition, reports Radio Tamazuj

The Gogrial state government has provisionally banned so-called fattening contests saying they promote laziness.

Fattening is a practice in the Dinka culture where men leave their homes for weeks with up to 15 milking cows.

They feed on milk only and do not work in order to become very fat.

They return to their home towns to compete to see who is the fattest.

A drum can be hung on a stand and one of them beats it and if the stand breaks and the drum falls down, then that person is the winner of the competition.

But this year the government of Gogrial state said this cultural practice is not good as it encourages laziness in the society because it is carried out during the farming season. Abraham Gum, the state governor explained, “It is a problem of youth whom I have given a provisional order that there is no person to make any fattening this year because it is a year for hunger.”

“When you took some cows to go and make your fattening alone it is prohibited from the state and I got some people from Apuk East and Apuk South, they were 17 in number and they are more than that. Some ran and we captured 17 and I put them into prison in Liet Nhom now and they are going to be taken to court because they have violated the provisional order,” added the governor.

He was speaking after his return from his home area Apuk.

Also the traditional leaders of Apuk and Aguok communities at a recent peace conference held at Pan Nyuom have unanimously agreed to prohibit fattening in all 13 counties of the state with effect from the time the conference was concluded.