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DR Congo’s Mukwege wins 2018 Nobel Peace Prize

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

A doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Denis Mukwege has been named winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

The gynecologist on Friday was awarded for how he treats victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He won the prize together with Iraq’s Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery.

The peace prize to be presented in Oslo on December 10, is worth $1 million.

The Nobel committee chair, Berit Reiss-Andersen said the two winners have been “crucial” in fighting sexual violence.

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She said “They have treated thousands of victims of assaults in a long-lasting civil war that has cost the lives of thousands of Congolese”.

Some 331 individuals and organisations were nominated for the peace award this year.

Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo has created insecurity. Many have fled their homes with girls and women becoming victims of sexual violence.

Mukwege reacts to prize

Dr. Mukwege told the Nobel committee from the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo that he was in the operating theatre when he heard the news.

He said “It was when I was operating and I heard people start to cry and it was so, so surprising.

“I can see in the face of many women how they are happy to be recognised and this is really so touching.”

Government reaction

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende told AFP that the “government congratulates Dr Denis Mukwege for the very important work he does, although there are often disagreements between us.

“We have had differences with [him] every time that he tried to politicise his work which however is important from a humanitarian standpoint. But now, we are satisfied with the Nobel Academy’s recognition of the work of a compatriot.”

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