UN chief condemns attack on home of renowned doctor in eastern DR Congo

Rape victims receive treatment at the Panzi hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: IRIN (file photo, July 2011)

26 October 2012 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemns in the “strongest possible terms” an attack which took place on Thursday night at the home of Dr. Denis Mukwege, a physician internationally known for his work with rape victims in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to Mr. Ban's spokesperson.

“He is outraged to learn that armed men entered the home of Dr. Mukwege and held his family at gunpoint, ultimately killing his security guard,” the spokesperson added in an overnight statement.

According to media reports, Dr. Mukwege – the founder and Director-General of the Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavu, located in the province of South Kivu, in the eastern DRC – and his family were not hurt in the attack on their Bukavu home.

Dr. Mukwege's efforts to help victims of sexual violence also includes serving on a special high-level panel, appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which produced a report in 2011 which highlighted 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.

“Dr. Mukwege's extraordinary and heroic work has saved the lives of tens of thousands of Congolese, many thousands of them women and girls who have been the victims of sexual violence in eastern DRC,” Mr. Ban's spokesperson added. “He continues to be a force for good, and Panzi Hospital a haven for the most vulnerable.”

He added that the UN chief calls on the DRC Government to ensure the safety and security of Dr. Mukwege and his family, and to make every effort to identify those responsible for the attack and hold them accountable.


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