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New fund for wartime victims of sexual violence: Mukwege

Denis Mukwege

DR Congo's Nobel peace prize laureate Denis Mukwege on Sunday announced the October 31 launch of a "World Fund" to compensate victims of sexual violence during armed conflict.

Mukwege, who has been campaigning for such a fund since 2010, made the announcement in a statement from Bukavu, in eastern DR Congo, issued by his Panzi Foundation, which is named after the hospital he runs there.

"We will continue to seek justice throughout the world for the victims, tracing a redline against impunity," wrote Mukwege.

Mukwege was joint winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his work helping victims of sexual violence committed in the conflict-ridden eastern DR Congo.

He shared the 2018 award with Nadia Murad, the activist from Iraq's Yazidi minority who campaigns for the thousands of women and girls abducted, like herself, by the Islamic State group in 2014.

In his statement Mukwege said he hoped to be able to extend the treatment program developed at Panzi Hospital to other countries hit by conflict, such as Central African Republic, Burundi and Iraq.

Mukwege said 20 years after the creation of Panzi hospital, they had treated more than 55,000 victims of sexual violence.

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