A news reports from Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, confirms the assassination attempt on Dr. Denis Mukwege, a world-renown surgeon known for his remarkable dedication to caring for victims of rape at Panzi Hospital in South Kivu. Four gunmen entered the residence of Dr. Mukwege on Thursday, October 25 in the evening in Bukavu, introducing themselves as his guests to the watchman. Once in the house they held his children, wife and a friend quiet at gunpoint as they waited for Dr. Mukwege to arrive. After Dr. Mukwege “the gunmen and the family’s security guard, Joseph Bizimana, collided in a desperate moment of chaos, in which shots were fired” according to Lauren Wolfe is the director of Women Under Siege. Bizimana was shot and died on the spot. Dr. Mukwege is reported to have dropped to the ground to escape being shot.
Dr. Mukwege has appealed to Congolese political leaders and the international community for peace for more than a decade now. He has worked tirelessly to help end the circle of violence that is destroying the social fabric of the Congolese society by targeting women in the most atrocious way possible: literally using the body of women as a weapon of war.
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told BELGA agency that Dr. Mukwege had arrived in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi with his wife and two daughters and all necessary arrangements are being made for their trip to Belgium. Belgium has also asked the UN Mission for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO) to ensure the protection of the Panzi hospital and its staff while Dr. Mukwege is absent. Mr. Reynders said that the Belgian Embassy in DRC would also “closely monitor the investigation” that he government of Prime Minister, Matata Ponyo Mapon Augustine and the governor of South Kivu, Marcellin Tshisambo have promised to initiate.