- Title: Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege in running for Nobel Peace Prize
- Date: 1st October 2016
- Summary: KIBATI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (FILE - NOVEMBER 7, 2008) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PEOPLE CARRYING BAGS ON THEIR HEADS, RUNNING AS GUNSHOTS ARE HEARD VARIOUS OF CONGOLESE ARMY (FARDC) SOLDIER TAKING COVER IN GRASS AS GUNFIRE IS HEARD WOMAN RUNNING, CARRYING BELONGINGS WOMEN CARRYING BELONGINGS AND CHILDREN ON THEIR BACKS AS THEY FLEE VILLAGE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE FLEEING WITH BELONGINGS BUKAVU, SOUTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (FILE- JANUARY 21, 2013) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF PANZI HOSPITAL SIGN (French) READING: "PANZI GENERAL REFERENCE HOSPITAL" DR. DENIS MUKWEGE (FAR RIGHT) WORKING IN HOSPITAL VARIOUS OF WOMEN LYING ON HOSPITAL BEDS AS DOCTORS AND NURSES PATROL WARD 18 CAR PARK OF PANZI HOSPITAL BANNER (French) READING: "AFTER 16 YEARS OF SUFFERING, CONGOLESE WOMEN ONLY WANT PEACE." (SOUNDBITE) (French) DENIS MUKWEGE, GYNECOLOGIST AND ACTIVIST, SAYING: "My decision to come back to Bukavu was motivated by the fact that I was determined to pursue the fight against sexual violence, which is taking place in eastern Congo. The second reason was the determination of the Congolese women, whether its women in the diaspora or the women of the country, the demand and their calls were too strong for me to resist." BUKAVU, SOUTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (RECENT) (REUTERS) SIGN (French) WHICH READS: "Operation block" VARIOUS OF DOCTORS PERFORMING RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY ON A FISTULA PATIENT (SOMEONE WITH A HOLE BETWEEN THE VAGINA AND RECTUM OR BLADDER) (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) PATIENT, SAFI KUNGWA, SAYING: "My problems started with rebels called FDLR, who are from Rwanda, a country led by Kagame. They grabbed me when I was carrying my twins. My children were holding onto my legs and my husband was standing next to me. The rebels proceeded to rape me in front of my children, after they shot my husband. There were four of them, and after that, they inserted a gun inside my vagina, and that's how I got this condition."
- Embargoed: 16th October 2016 10:40
- Keywords: Democratic Republic of Congo rape Nobel Peace Prize Nobel Sakharov Prize women's health Denis Mukwege
- Location: STRASBOURG, FRANCE/ KIBATI, BUKAVU AND LUVUNGU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO/ BRUSSELS, BELGIUM/ / WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: STRASBOURG, FRANCE/ KIBATI, BUKAVU AND LUVUNGU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO/ BRUSSELS, BELGIUM/ / WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA002526VDJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Gynecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege is a frontrunner for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, nominated for his work with rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mukwege is the director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu, which offers physical and emotional treatment to some of the hundreds of women who are raped in the region each year.
The number of women and girls raped in eastern Congo is unknown, but experts and campaigners say the scale is enormous. The former United Nations' special representative on sexual violence in conflict Margot Wallstrom has called Congo the rape capital of the world.
In October 2012 armed men made an attempt on Mukwege's life, forcing him to flee the country. A member of his staff was killed in the shooting attack at his home in South Kivu province but the gynecologist escaped unhurt. Some media reports have speculated the attack may have had political overtones.
Mukwege returned to South Kivu in January 2013 to continue his work at the hospital.
In May 2011, he received the King Baudouin International Development Prize for his work, after which he described the severity of the attacks on his patients.
"All the victims have been raped with unbelievable brutality. Those who manage to survive reach the hospital in a state of incredible physical and psychological destruction. Often they arrive with the genital system destroyed by bullets or sharp objects, an act of savagery unheard before in the history of the region," he said.
In 2014, he also received the Sakharov prize, Europe's top human rights award, as well as a Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security.
For decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo, with its vast untapped mineral and oil reserves has experienced war and chaos. Women are especially vulnerable to the insecurity.
Although the Congo war officially ended in 2003, violence between government troops and rebels, some with outside backing, has persisted, particularly in the east, and rape has repeatedly been used as a weapon of war.
Mukwege's hospital has treated more than 46,000 girls and women with gynecological injuries, about half of them victims of sexual violence.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in Oslo on Friday October 7, at 11:00 a.m. (0900 GMT).
The prize, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (1.1 million U.S. dollars), will be handed over on December 10, 2016.
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