DRC’s Nobel Prize winner, surgical gynecologist, announces presidential bid

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Denis Mukwege, a surgical gynecologist who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on sexual violence in warfare, has announced that he will stand for president in elections planned for December.
The 68-year-old doctor made the announcement Monday (2 October) before a crowd of supporters in a packed auditorium in the DRC capital of Kinshasa, challenging current President Felix Tshisekedi. “I agree to be your candidate for president of the republic,” he stated, adding that he would focus on issues such as insecurity and political leadership. Mukwege, who 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. “Our country is doing badly,” Mukwege told his supporters. “We cannot wait to act” because “tomorrow is already too late.”
Mukwege was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 alongside Yazidi activist Nadia Murad for efforts to end sexual violence as a weapon of war. The pioneering doctor founded the Panzi hospital and foundation in conflict-torn eastern DRC after witnessing the horrific injuries and diseases suffered by rape victims. Dozens of militias, including the infamous M23, have ravaged eastern DRC for years, a legacy of regional wars that flared during the 1990s and 2000s. Alongside his medical work, Mukwege has earned a reputation as a vocal government critic in his native country and built-up a loyal following among the DRC’s intellectual class.

About Geraldine Boechat 2545 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia