Democratic republic of Congo, the sprawling central African nation where 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Denis Mukwege works, has been called “the rape capital of the world,” by the UN secretary-general’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict.
Eastern DRC has seen more than two decades of bloody conflict among armed groups that either sought to unseat presidents or simply grab control of a piece of the country’s trillions of dollars in mineral wealth. Rape has been used as a vicious weapon of war.
Millions of people have been killed over the years and millions more have fled. Dozens of armed groups still roam the region and some now are disrupting attempts to fight a new Ebola outbreak in DRC’s northeast, causing alarm among health workers.
Armed men tried to kill Mukwege in 2012, forcing him to temporarily leave the country.
He won the peace prize on Friday with Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman who became a global spokesperson for victims after being raped and tortured by Islamic State militants.