Interview: DRC

Rape doctor Denis Mukwege wants to return to DRC despite murder attempt

Gynaecologist Denis Mukwege described to RFI how assailants shot at him at least seven times as they escaped in his car after breaking into his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mukwege, who is known around the world for his work with rape victims, fled the country following last Thursday's attack and is currently in Sweden recovering from the ordeal.

Interviewed on RFI, he told how armed aggressors entered his home and took control of his house and children, before aiming their guns at him. His caretaker cried out and they shot him dead at point blank range, before fleeing in Mukwege’s car and shooting at him.

Mukwege says seven cartridges were found and that is killers were professional and executed their attack swiftly, though they were dressed in civilian clothes.

He “had no problems with anyone,” and therefore explained that he had no particular special protection.

But he said the incident made him understand better the plight of ordinary women, who had no defences and were at the mercy of armed gangs.

“The whole population should be able to live in security”, he declared.

Mukwege voiced his hope that the authorities in DRC, and the international community, would heed the action of the people of Bukavu, who had yesterday organised a citywide general strike in protest at the continued violence and lack of law and order.

“It is quite unthinkable that for 16 years a people should suffer in this way, in full view and with the knowledge of the whole world, in total silence.”

He had a message for his colleagues working at the Panzi hospital in Bukavu in eastern DRC, that they should “respond to hatred with love”

He said it pained him to have abandoned some of his patients, and that as soon as possible, he would be back with them.



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