UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has operated on women who have been raped and blames the international community for turning a blind eye to this global problem. According to him, rapists are becoming more and more cruel year after year, and victims are becoming younger.
When Denis Mukwege sat down at a round table with a group of journalists at the International Forum on Peace in Caen, France, his message was clear: “Rape is one of the most effective weapons. It leads to devastating consequences.”
Rape as a weapon of mass destruction? “Yes,” says Mukwege dryly. “It destroys the victims physically, spiritually, and in the long run harms social structures.”
Mukwege, 64, is a man of large build, so when he enters the room, his appearance does not go unnoticed. He has what is commonly called charisma. His voice sounds soft, but the words produce a terrible effect.
The reason, probably, is how many horrors he happened to see in his life. He contrasts them with a feeling that not everyone is capable of in our time: Mukwege is driven by a feeling of love for one’s neighbor.
Being the son of a pastor of the Pentecostal Evangelical Church, Mukwege in childhood could not understand why he had medicines, while many of his sick peers were dying – they did not have these medicines. Then he decided that in the future he would become a pediatrician. Seeing later how high the mortality rate among women in childbirth, he eventually made a choice in favor of gynecology and obstetrics.
It was then that Mukwege first encountered female injuries as a result of rape. He decided to become a man who “repairs women”, as stated in the title of the documentary dedicated to him.
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