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Nobel peace prize awarded to two campaigners against sexual violence

Dr Denis Mukwege-Nobel peace prize winner
16:42 05/10/2018

The prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 has been won by Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict in Africa and the Middle East.

EU council president Donald Tusk tweeted following the announcement on Friday morning: “I congratulate both winners of this year's #NobelPeacePrize. They have my deepest respect for the courage, compassion and humanity they demonstrate in their daily fight.”

Dr Mukwege, 63, treats victim of sexual violence at the free hospital he runs in South Kivu, a region of the Congo known as the rape capital of the world. Following threats on his life, Belgian director Thierry Michel made a film in 2015 about the gynaecologist, The Man who Mends Women: The Wrath of Hippocrates, in a bid to protect him. In 2014, Mukwege won the EU’s highest human rights award, the Sakharov Prize. He has received previous nominations for the Nobel peace prize.

Belgian surgeon Guy-Bernard Cadière is a friend of Dr Mukwege who travels regularly to the Congo to assist his colleague in the operating theatre. He told Bruzz that the Nobel prize was an important recognition of his work. “It is also very good for his visibility and safety,” he added.

Nadia Murad, 25, is a human rights activist from Iraq. She was kidnapped and held by the Islamic State for almost three years and has since founded Nadia’s Initiative, an organisation dedicated to helping women and children who have been victims of genocide, mass atrocities and human trafficking. Like Dr Mukwege, she helps them re-build their lives and communities.

Photo: Dr Denis Mukwege, The Man who Mends Women (c) Thierry Michel

Written by Sarah Crew