Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday (Oct 5) for their work in fighting sexual violence in conflicts around the world.

The pair won the award for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, Nobel committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said in unveiling the winners in Oslo.

Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes, the committee said in its citation.

Dr Mukwege, a gynaecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was noted for having devoted his life to defending victims of war-time sexual violence.

Dr Mukwege leads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern city of Bukavu. Opened in 1999, the clinic receives thousands of women each year, many of them requiring surgery from sexual violence.

In a tweet describing his work, the award-giving body said: “Dr Mukwege and his staff have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults.”

Murad is an advocate for the Yazidi minority in Iraq and for refugee and women’s rights in general. She was enslaved and raped by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters in Mosul in 2014.

The committee noted that she was a “witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others”. “She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims,” it said.

The prize, worth nine million Swedish crowns (S$1.3 million), will be presented in Oslo on Dec 10.

Source: National News Agency