8 October 2018 – The 16th Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Congolese physician Denis Mukwege. In a list of 331 candidates he was chosen for the commitment of being a man of Africa against the use of sexual violence as a weapon in wars and armed conflicts. Mukwege, gynecologist, treats victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So far he has managed to save over 50 thousand. "Mukwege is the symbol of an honest Africa that refuses to be overwhelmed by the cruelty of barbaric acts perpetrated by warlords, whose only vocation is to kill, loot and rape", comments Father Donald Zagore, an Ivorian priest of the Society for African Missions.
The missionary continues: "Until there are men like Dr. Mukwege, death will never have the last word on the African continent. To forge an African conscience of the heroes of peace, who with their daily actions build a better Africa, must become not only a political project for all the main leaders of the African, religious and political continent, but also and above all the raison d'être of every African citizen".
"Africa - he argues - can and must become a better continent. This will be possible only through the struggle for the birth of an African political culture that promotes man without gender discrimination and remains tireless supporter of life. A life that requires full dedication to the cause of one’s neighbor, especially the poorest, sacrificing themselves and their personal interests. We must be able to treat others as we would like to be treated. The other must never be an object of our property or our interests", concludes Zagore.
Denis Mukwege said he dedicated the Nobel Peace Prize to women "killed in conflict and hit by violence every day". Mukwege has spent most of his life helping victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At Panzi hospital, founded in Bukavu in 2008, together with his staff, he treated thousands of patients who were victims of assaults. Most of the abuses were committed in the context of a long civil war that claimed more than six million Congolese lives. Denis Mukwege is the most important and unifying symbol, both nationally and internationally, of the struggle to end sexual violence in war and armed conflict. (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 8/10/2018)