Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege – The 2018 Nobel peace prize is awarded to a surgeon and a former slave | International

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Two campaigners fighting against rape as a weapon of war have shone a light on a horrible tactic


Editor’s note: This story contains descriptions that some readers may find distressing

WHEN Dr Denis Mukwege first saw the injuries of a woman who had been raped by a soldier, he was appalled. It was not just the hideousness of the crime. It was the pitiless planning behind it. During the war in eastern Congo, militia commanders orchestrated campaigns of mass rape to terrorise the whole population into submission. “I couldn’t imagine that could be done as a strategy,” Dr Mukwege told The Economist. Since qualifying as a gynaecologist—one of the very few in the Democratic Republic of Congo—he has operated on some 20,000 survivors of sexual violence and devoted his life to publicising their plight.

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