Human Rights

UN deploys military to guard Nobel Peace Prize winner, Denis Mukwege over death threats

UN deploys military to guard Nobel Peace Prize winner, Denis Mukwege over death threats

 

Following death threats which Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege, received for demanding justice for crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the United Nations has redeployed military troops to ensure his safety.

Mukwege, winner of the Nobel peace prize in 2018 alongside Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict – is a gynecologist whose career has spanned more than 20 years.

During his career, Mukwege has spoken against several crimes going on in his homeland of Congo.

The medical doctor, who doubles as a Pentecostal pastor, founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been raped by armed rebels.

Mukwege survived a major assassination attempt in October 2012 when armed men entered his home, fired shots and killed his bodyguard.

The assassination attempt reportedly came several weeks after a speech at the United Nations where he denounced the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 16-year-long conflict and called for justice for the crimes and killings.

Mukwege, on social media and UN meetings, has often asked for the implementation of recommendations of a 2010 UN investigation which described more than 600 alleged violent incidents occurring in Congo between 1993 and 2003. He has also been vocal against Rwanda’s alleged involvement in the Congo crisis.

Now, the UN wary of another attempt on his life, has put him and his family under 24 hours protection by UN military.

The UN said the recent threats against Dr. Mukwege via social media and in direct phone calls to him and his family “followed his condemnation of the continued killing of civilians in eastern DRC and his renewed calls for accountability for human rights violations and abuses.”

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also recently warned Mukwege is “at serious risk.”

In a tweet on Thursday September 10, Mukwege wrote: “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.”

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