It is this message, written by Jeanine Mabunda, that was sent to the Congolese Nobel Prize winner, Dr Denis Mukwege, who shares his Prize with the Iraqi Nadia Murad. The two human rights defenders who have been fighting for years to ensure that women are not weapons of war are therefore joining the pantheon of the great actors for peace in the world. And we are all delighted about it.
While some regret that the Head of State did not personally congratulate Dr. Mukwege, it is also well known that the two men have a more than distant relationship. Nor does anyone know whether this is not a diplomatic compromise between the two protagonists in this pre-electoral period.
Also, in order not to enter into this political controversy, at a time when it is appropriate to honour with the greatest respect the “repairer of the women of Kivu”, the editorial staff of Mining and Business would like to offer its most sincere congratulations.
She also wants to say a simple, “Thank you Doctor! ‘Thank you for this fight against the barbarity experienced by our sisters. Thank you, as compatriots, for bringing this flame of hope for peace in the DRC to life in our hearts wounded by this unsustainable war. Thank you for giving us this part of dignity in the eyes of a world that too often thinks of us as passive in the face of the horror that persists in the East. And, finally, thank you for this example that you embody and that guides us.
As a reminder, Dr. Denis Mukwege is the director of Panzi Hospital, which he founded in 1999 in Bukavu. Awarded the Sakharov Prize in 2014 ‘for freedom of thought’ by the European Parliament, he founded Panzi Hospital at the end of the 1990s after discovering an appalling reality: the planned destruction of women’s and even babies’ genitalia, as well as rape as a weapon of war. ‘We see what not even a surgeon’s eye can get used to seeing,’ he says.
In Panzi, Dr. Mukwege is helping with the physical and psychological reconstruction of women victims of rape. Large-scale crimes committed in eastern DRC over the past 15 years, particularly during the Second Congo War (1998–2003), but which still persist. However, this vocation has a cost: the Doctor has been the subject of several assassination attempts and lives under the protection of the Blue Helmets. Twice nominated for the Nobel Prize, he has operated on nearly 30,000 Congolese women of all ages.
The M&B editorial team