‘Completely Derailed’: How Congo’s Crisis Is Exacerbating Violence in the East

‘Completely Derailed’: How Congo’s Crisis Is Exacerbating Violence in the East
Dr. Denis Mukwege receives the 2014 Sakharov Prize from former European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Strasbourg, France, Nov. 26, 2014 (AP photo by Christian Lutz).

On Thursday, April 13, Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist renowned for treating victims of sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, attended a meeting with Gildo Byamungo, a colleague who was running a clinic near the city of Uvira. The two men talked at one point about the lack of security in the area, and Byamungo confided that he had received multiple threats from armed groups. “He told me about his fears for his safety,” Mukwege recalls.

That night, Byamungo was shot and killed at his home, becoming the latest victim of spiraling violence that Mukwege attributes to President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to leave office.

“In the east of the country today, we can observe an upsurge in targeted assassinations by different groups that are out of control,” says Mukwege, who spoke to World Politics Review in Yerevan, Armenia, where he had been invited by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative as a finalist for the $1.1 million Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.

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