Mukwege was operating when Nobel Prize news reached him

Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Senator Bob Casey and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Sept. 21 2018 in Philadelphia

Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad "have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes", the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its announcement.

In December 2015, Murad told the UN Security Council how she and thousands of other Yazidi women and girls were abducted, held in captivity and repeatedly raped after the Iraqi area of Sinjar fell to Isis militants in August 2014.

Mukwege is a Congolese gynaecologist spent large parts of his adult life helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to a statement by The Norwegian Nobel Committee, she was chosen because of her uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

Mr Mukwege said: "I can see in the faces of many women how they are happy to be recognised ... this is really so touching".

Founded in 2016, her organization, Nadia's Initative, is "aimed at increasing advocacy for women and minorities and assisting to stabilize and redevelop communities in crisis".

In 2011, Eastern Congo was touted as the rape capital of the world and the worst place on earth to be a woman.

Murad, 25, was kidnapped by Islamic State militants in 2014 and endured three months as a sex slave before managing to escape.

"As a survivor, I am grateful for this opportunity to draw global attention to the plight of the Yazidi people who have suffered unimaginable crimes since the genocide by Daesh (the Arabic term for Islamic State)", Murad said in a statement.

Nobel Prize victor and human rights activist Nadia Murad at the International Center in Vienna, Austria. "Here we are working a lot to break silence because we know that the perpetrators are using silence so that they can go on raping and destroying women", he said.

The Yazidis are an ancient religious minority, falsely branded as devil-worshippers by Sunni Muslim extremists.

Solange Furaha Lwashiga, a Congolese women's activist, noted the surgeon's work repairing not only the physical damage but also the mental scars suffered by the victims, empowering them. "I'll say this: if Donald Trump gets the Nobel Peace Prize, liberals all over the world will jump out of buildings".

ANTONIO GUTERRES: This prize also recognizes countless victims around the world who have too often been stigmatized, hidden and forgotten.

The Nobel prize for medicine was awarded to two scientists - Professor James P Allison from the USA and Professor Tasuku Honjo from Japan - who discovered how to fight cancer using the body's immune system.

Berit Reiss-Andersen is chairwoman of the Nobel committee.

Who will be this year's laureate?

This year's Nobel peace prize was awarded to her alongside two others.



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