Pastor and doctor Denis Mukwege honored by the French Academy of Medicine

Yesterday, Tuesday January 11, Doctor Denis Mukwege, who is also a pastor, received in Paris the title of Honoris Causa member of the French Academy of Medicine.

On Tuesday January 11, the French Academy of Medicine honored the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Doctor Denis Mukwege, for his commitment to the fight against sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The title of Honoris Causa member of the Academy was given to him by Jean-François Allilaire, perpetual secretary of the organization.

A title created in 1918 which, according to the Sorbonne website, is one of the most prestigious distinctions awarded by French universities to honor "personalities of foreign nationality for eminent services rendered to science, letters or the arts, to France or to the university".

Denis Mukwege then led a conference in front of his peers on the theme “Rape as a weapon of war”, the fight of his life.

The same day, the doctor was received by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to discuss the fight against sexual violence as a weapon of war.

According to the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, during this interview, Jean-Yves Le Drian "welcomed the remarkable work carried out by Dr. Mukwege in support of women survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and his resolute action to break the silence surrounding this subject”.

The Minister then spoke about France's mobilization on this issue, mentioning in particular "its financial support of 6,2 million euros to the Global Fund for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence". A fund co-founded by Denis Mukwege and Iraqi human rights activist, Nadia Murad.

He also reaffirmed his support for the structures in which Dr. Mukwege works, namely the Panzi hospital and foundation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In conclusion, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs recalled France's "determination" "to combat and eliminate all forms of sexual violence and the use of rape as a weapon of war and to fight against 'impunity of those who commit them'.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Shutterstock / lev radin

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