YAOUNDE, Cameroon

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege urged the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights on Monday to support the country’s transitional justice initiative.

Mukwege, 65, made the call at a virtual meeting of the subcommittee, where he spoke on the human rights situation in the DRC.

The 2018 Nobel winner has recently faced a barrage of threats over his campaign for accountability, justice and an end to violence in the country.

“I think it is very important that we can move forward in the direction of transitional justice, which cannot be done if there are no instruments to prosecute those who have committed crimes, and there I believe that we are on a good path. But it absolutely must be supported.

“I still appeal to the deputies to be able to support this initiative of the president of the republic to allow this transitional justice to be established in the DRC,” he told the subcommittee.

Earlier this month, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi urged the government to officially adopt the means of reparation for various abuses and crimes committed in the country, through transitional justice.

Transitional justice consists of judicial and non-judicial measures implemented in order to redress legacies of human rights abuses. Such measures include criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programs and various kinds of institutional reforms.

Call for investigation

Last week, UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet said Mukwege’s life seems to be at serious risk before welcoming Tshisekedi’s public commitment to ensure his security.

She also called for an effective and impartial investigation into the threats made against him.

Mukwege, who has spent most of his adult life helping victims of sexual violence in the DRC, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 alongside Iraqi human rights activist Nadia Murad for his efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

The situation in the DRC’s Ituri province has significantly deteriorated in recent months.

According to humanitarian organization Save the Children, at least 1,315 people have been killed, including 165 children, and an estimated 300,000 displaced in the region since January.

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