DRC: Why is Dr Mukwege threatened with death?

The government of President has decided to ensure the security of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who received new “hate mail” for his denunciations of the perpetrators of sexual violence.

It was one of the main topics of the virtual Council of Ministers of Friday August 21 chaired by the Head of State of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Death threats against the “repairer” of women victims of sexual violence had finally resurfaced.

This time, reports the Council press release, they follow the doctor’s new plea “in favor of peace in the east of the country, by proposing the creation of an international criminal court for the DRC in order to try the serious crimes that are committed against the civilian population ”.

The objective of this court would be to judge the serious crimes committed against the civilian population since the outbreak of the war of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL) in 1996, notes Dr. Mukwege. At the time, this coalition was made up of dissidents of Mobutu Sese Seko and ethnic groups led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila while Denis Mukwege was a doctor at the hospital in Lemera, in the Kivu region (east).

But he continues to receive threats from armed groups who feel targeted by his comments. He had already escaped, in October 2012, an assassination attempt in the center of Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu. The keeper of his house had been shot at point blank range.

Faced with this unfortunate memory, President Tshisekedi “urged the government and, particularly the Ministers of Interior and Security as well as Justice in their respective attributions, to take all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of Dr Mukwege. and the opening of investigations  ”into the new death threats and hate correspondence he has received.

“When crimes go unpunished and criminals continue to live with the victims, all our efforts are dashed,” said Dr Denis Mukwege less than a year ago in New York, on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly .

“All the armed groups that continue to rape and kill in the villages, and these armed groups have connections with certain military commanders who have participated in crimes since the Congo’s first war (1996-1997). And as long as they are not punished, unfortunately they continue to maintain conflicts for their interests,” denounced the Congolese icon, aged 65 today.

Foreign countries and organisations, such as the United States, Canada and the European Union, have already condemned death threats.


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