DRC Nobel laureate Denis Mukwege announces run for presidency
The award-winning surgeon will challenge President Felix Tshisekedi, who last month called for the withdrawal of UN troops from December
Kinshasa — The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) Nobel Peace Prize-winning surgeon Denis Mukwege said on Monday he would run for president in December elections.
Mukwege, who won the award in 2018 for his nearly two-decade fight against sexual violence, made the announcement to a jubilant crowd of supporters at a conference centre in the capital Kinshasa.
Called the “man who repairs women”, the doctor has performed reconstructive surgery on war rape victims at the Panzi Hospital he founded in conflict-ridden eastern DRC in 1999. He has been attacked by gunmen in the course of his work. His hospital has so far treated more than 50,000 survivors of sexual violence. Amnesty International has reported that tens of thousands of women are thought to have been attacked in the conflict.
He will be running against President Felix Tshisekedi, whose first term was mired by economic hardship, epidemics and worsening insecurity in the east, where the M23 rebel group launched a major offensive last year.
Tshisekedi told the UN General Assembly last month he had asked his government to fast-track the withdrawal of the UN’s peacekeeping mission in eastern DRC from the end of this year. Monusco has become increasingly unpopular in recent years for what critics say is a failure to protect civilians from violence, sparking deadly protests.
Opposition leader Martin Fayulu, who came second to Tshisekedi in the last vote 2018, said over the weekend he would be running.
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