DRC: Nobel Peace Prize winner Mukwege put under UN protection

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Denis Mukwege who has several assassination attempts in his life has been placed under the security of United Nations forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo after receiving fresh death threats.

Mukwege, a gynecologist by profession, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for his work in treating rape victims in the conflict in eastern DR Congo.

After studying medicine in neighboring Burundi, Mukwege’s calling came during his first time working in a hospital in the small town of Lemera, in the rural area of South Kivu before going on to study gynecology and obstetrics in France.

He was moved by the number of women who died every day, many of them while giving birth.

“That motivated me to specialize in the treatment of women,” Mukwege said.

Despite threats to his personal safety, Denis Mukwege continues to help women victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In July, the doctor received threats after calling for justice over serious human rights violations in the country, activating the United Nations Security arm to ensure his personal security and that of the Panzi clinic, which Mukwege founded in 1999 in the city of Bukavu.

Mukwege thanked the UN for protecting his patients and staff on micro blogsite twitter.

“We welcome the redeployment of elements from MONUSCO to Panzi this morning to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Thank you to the UN for ensuring our protection.” Denis Mukwege.

The clinic has over the years treated over 82,000 patients with the majority sustaining injuries from sexual violence. The local people are highly supportive of his work and the clinic. In 2012, Dr Mukwege survived an assassination attempt in his own home and had to go in exile after which he returned in 2013 to a warm welcome from his patients.

Replying on Dr. Mukwege’s thanks message on twitter August Cohen said,

“Glad MONUSCO is protecting you. But it’s the responsibility of Congolese authorities to protect not only you but all Congolese. I long for the day when the Congolese have republican, effective, and honorable security forces. May God bless and keep you, Dr. Mukwege.”

Liberty Pazvakawambwa

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