The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, popularly known by its French acronym MONUSCO, on Wednesday sent some of its soldiers to protect 2018 Nobel Peace laureate, Dr Denis Mukwege, who has been threatened by militia groups in the country.
“We appreciate the fact that MONUSCO peacekeepers have returned to Panzi hospital this morning to ensure the security of our Founder/Special Adviser and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr Denis Mukwege, as well as his family, his patients, and personnel,” the Panzi Foundation declared in a communiqué yesterday.
“The cries for his protection did not fall on deaf ears, as is witnessed by the return of MONUSCO today. We call on the United Nations and the entire international community to remain determined in finding durable and efficacious solutions to ensure the protection of Dr Mukwege,” the communiqué continued.
The hospital, which serves a population of 400,000, was founded by the Nobel laureate in 1999 “as a response to the devastating war that surrounded his community in the eastern provinces”.
The UN peacekeepers were withdrawn from Dr Mukwege’s hospital months earlier in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Congolese gynecologist, who has been insisting on the publication of a report mapping out the crimes committed in the country and for the establishment of a tribunal to try all those who committed the crimes, has recently disclosed that he is a victim of repeated death threats.
Meanwhile, in a related story, three civilians were killed on Wednesday in an ambush by combatants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) at Kilometre 34 on the Mbau-Kamango road in the north of Beni territory, North Kivu.
According to the administrator of Beni territory, Donat Kibwana, the assailants targeted three persons who were travelling on a motorbike from Nobili locality to Beni town.
The attack took place two kilometres from a national army position. Among the victims were an agent of the Directorate General of Customs and Excise in Ndili and a motor taxi driver, Lewis Saliboko, a representative of the civil society in Oicha revealed.
This is the umpteenth time the Ugandan rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces have killed civilians on this road. In August, 15 persons including eight soldiers were killed in an ADF attack on a convoy of the DR Congo national army in Kitaura.