14 January 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: UN Mission Welcomes Return of Renowned Doctor to Eastern DR Congo Following Attack

The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has welcomed the return to Bukavu of Denis Mukwege, a physician internationally known for his work with rape victims who was attacked at his residence last October.

Dr. Mukwege, the founder and Director-General of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in South Kivu province, was attacked in his home by armed men who shot and killed his security guard. He and his family were not hurt in the attack.

Roger Meece, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), said Dr. Mukwege's "courageous" decision to return after he was attacked demonstrates his "infallible commitment and dedication" to women who have suffered sexual abuse.

Mr. Meece also reiterated the hope that more light will be shed on the attack and that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, the mission added in a news release.

MONUSCO supported local government officials and the national Congolese police force in South Kivu to ensure the safe return of Dr. Mukwege and will continue, within the limits of its mandate, to provide him with all the assistance he needs to pursue his important work.

Dr. Mukwege's efforts to help victims of sexual violence also include serving on a special high-level panel appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which produced a report in 2011 highlighting the deprivations endured by thousands of victims of sexual violence in the DRC, including the lack of access to medical and psychological treatment, amongst others.

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