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Nobel Peace Prize awarded to campaigners against sexual violence as a weapon of war

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Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday 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 chairperson Berit Reiss-Andersen said in unveiling the winners in Oslo.

Both have come to represent the struggle against a global scourge which goes well beyond any single conflict, as the ever-expanding #MeToo movement has shown.

[Source: News24]

Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad have won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

The pair were awarded the honour “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”

Dr Mukwege, a 63 year-old gynaecologist, has treated thousands of victims of sexual assault in the Democratic Republic of Congo despite threats to his life.

He has been repeatedly nominated for the Nobel and has won several other awards including the UN Human Rights prize in 2008.

Yazidi rape survivor tells of her time as an Isis sex slave
Ms Murad, 25, became a victim of war crimes herself when she was kidnapped by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq in 2014.

Two years later she became the first UN goodwill ambassador for survivors of human trafficking. Her fight to bring Islamic State to account for the rape and abuse of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women is supported by international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
“Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its announcement.

“Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others.

“Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to wartime sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions.”

Malala Yousafzai, who became the youngest Nobel laureate at 17 in 2014, tweeted her congratulations to the pair, adding: “Their work saves lives and helps women speak out about sexual violence.”

Donald Trump had been one of the favourites to win the prize following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

He would have been the fifth president to receive the prize worth nine million Swedish krona (£760,000), following Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, Woodrow Wilson in 1919, Jimmy Carter in 2002 and Barack Obama in 2009.

Among the 216 individuals and 115 organisations put forward this year were the Syrian civilian aid group the White Helmets, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has challenged many of Mr Trump’s policies, Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger who is imprisoned for allegedly “insulting Islam”.

Bookmakers also took bets on Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May at 100-1.

Earlier this year Mr Trump said “everyone thinks” he deserves a Nobel peace prize. His nomination was also supported by the South Korean president, Republican members of Congress, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage and a group of anti-immigration Norwegian politicians.

The committee keeps the list of nominations secret and it has been reported that they were unable to contact the 2018 winners by phone before the announcement was made on Friday morning.

Last year the prize was won by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The Geneva-based group said in a statement that Dr Mukwege and Ms Murad “thoroughly deserve this honour”.

“The Nobel Committee has rightly chosen to highlight the role of women this year in giving the award to Nadia and Denis, and it is great to see women like Nadia leading on this issue just as they do in the disarmament movement,” said ICAN.

[Source: The Independent]
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