Nobel Prize-winner Denis Mukwege announces bid for DR Congo presidency

By Kent Mensah in Accra October 4, 2023

Denis Mukwege, a surgical gynaecologist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, has announced he is running for president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which holds elections in December, reports Semafor Africa.

Mukwege, 68, made his name as a foremost expert on offering recovery care for victims of sexual violence in his country and has been a fierce critic of previous Congolese governments, surviving an assassination attempt in 2012.

Announcing his bid before a crowd of supporters in the capital of Kinshasa on October 2, Mukwege said he is ready to challenge current President Felix Tshisekedi in the upcoming December elections, and will focus on issues such as insecurity and political leadership, writes Al Jazeera..

Mukwege jointly won the Nobel Prize in 2018 with Yazidi activist Nadia Murad for their efforts to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, now hopes to confront problems facing the DRC.

He founded Panzi Hospital in eastern DRC during a period of brutal conflict in 1999, treating hundreds of victims of rape and bearing witness to the injuries and diseases inflicted on them.

Today, the Central African nation faces deteriorating security, with numerous militia groups, including one known as M23, fighting for control of territory in the country’s eastern regions.

In a press release last month, Mukwege said he was “deeply outraged by the shocking images of the massacre” and called for “far-reaching reform” to professionalise the country’s security services.

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