A leading human rights activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo narrowly escaped what appeared to be an assassination attempt when gunmen infiltrated his home, took his children hostage and killed a security guard in a spray of bullets before fleeing in a stolen vehicle, humanitarian advocates said Friday.
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.
PHR has been shocked to learn of a violent attack today at the home of our close colleague and friend, Dr. Denis Mukwege, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. We fear for the safety of Dr. Mukwege, a world-renowned obstetric surgeon who is founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he and his staff have helped treat over 30,000 survivors of sexual violence.
In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof writes, "One of my heroes is Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor who repairs fistulas and is a ferocious advocate for women and for his country. I’ve suggested that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize—and I was horrified to learn that tonight four armed gunmen attacked him at his home, murdered his guard and shot at him. He seems to have narrowly escaped death."
The International Association of Forensic Nurses recently profiled PHR's program on sexual violence in conflict zones in their newsletter, "On the Edge".