The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Denis Mukwege has been named a joint winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. The man known as the rape surgeon was awarded along with Nadia Murad for their efforts to end sexual violence as weapon of war.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict,” the organizers tweeted on Friday.
He becomes the eleventh African to win the prestigious award. The other recipients include former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ex-Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and activist Leymah Gbowee as well as late Kenyan conservationist Wangari Mathai.
Previous African Nobel Peace Prize Winners
- Leymah Gbowee, Liberia, 2011
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia, 2011
- Mohamed ElBaradei, Egypt, 2005
- Wangari Maathai, Kenya, 2004
- Kofi Annan, Ghana, 2001
- Frederik Willem de Klerk, South Africa, 1993
- Nelson Mandela, South Africa 1993
- Desmond Tutu, South Africa 1984
- Anwar al-Sadat, Egypt 1978
- Albert Luthuli, South Africa, 1960
- In 2015, Tunisian organizations called the National Dialogue quartet won the prize.
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The prize committee described Mukwege as “the foremost, most unifying symbol, both nationally and internationally, of the struggle to end sexual violence in war and armed conflicts.” stressing his mantra that “justice is everyone’s business.”
What the committee said about Mukwege’s exploits
2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending victims of war-time sexual violence. Fellow laureate Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others.
The physician Denis Mukwege, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, has spent large parts of his adult life helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Mukwege and his staff have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults.
This year’s Peace Laureate Denis Mukwege has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticised the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war.
What the committee said about Murad’s exploits
Nadia Murad, awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.
Nadia Murad is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the IS army. The abuses were systematic and part of a military strategy. They served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities.