We of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict stand with the women and men who are protesting today by organizing a ville morte in Bukavu. Last week, we were shocked to learn about the apparent assassination attempt on world-renowned surgeon, anti-rape activist and our esteemed colleague: Dr. Denis Mukwege.
We support the women and men of Eastern Congo and join their call for an immediate and full investigation into this brutal armed attack that resulted in the death of the doctor’s long-time trusted guard, Joseph Bizimana.
The Campaign stands with the brave women and men of Eastern Congo struggling to survive increasing insecurity and escalating levels of violence that most of us cannot begin to imagine. The attack against Dr. Mukwege is another brazen display of the violence that persists in an atmosphere of impunity in Eastern Congo. Just last month, Dr. Mukwege issued a resounding call at the United Nations for an end to the violence and for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of war crimes in the region.
We, Dr. Mukwege’s friends and colleagues in the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, support that call. We, too, want to see the results of a full and immediate investigation of the attempt on Dr. Mukwege's life and the murder of Joseph Bizimana—and the other human rights defenders who also endure this terror.
We stand with the women and men in Bukavu in their appeals for security and justice. We join their calls on the Government of Congo to act urgently and address increased insecurity in Eastern Congo.
As Dr. Mukwege stated so clearly at the United Nations last month, “it is the courage of the women victims of sexual violence that will in the end overcome this evil”. Today we stand with them and their brave healer Dr. Mukwege.
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict is led by the Nobel Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and an Advisory Committee comprised of 25 organizations working at the international, regional and community levels to stop rape. Dr. Mukwege is a founding Advisory Committee member.
Since its launch in May 2012, more than 600 organizations and thousands of individuals from around the world have joined. The Campaign demands urgent and bold political leadership to prevent rape in conflict, to protect civilians and rape survivors, and calls for justice for all—including effective prosecution of those responsible.