Nobel Peace Prize awarded to campaigners fighting sexual violence as a weapon of war

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THE Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a Congolese doctor and a Yazidi former captive of the Islamic State, for their work to highlight and eliminate the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

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.

“Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and other.”

Mukwege has treated thousands of women in Congo, many of whom were victims of gang rape.

Armed men tried to kill him in 2012, forcing him to temporarily leave the country.

Murad is one of an estimated 3000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by Islamic State terrorists.

She managed to escape after three months and chose to speak about her experiences.

At the age of 23, she was named the United Nation’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

The 2018 prize is worth 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.01 million).

Last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner was the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

In other Nobel prizes this year, the medicine prize went to James Allison of the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Centre and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University, whose discoveries helped cancer doctors fight many advanced-stage tumour sand save an “untold” numbers of lives.

Scientists from the United States, Canada and France shared the physics prize for revolutionising the use of lasers in research.

On Wednesday, three researchers who “harnessed the power of evolution” to produce enzymes and antibodies that have led to a new best-selling drug won the Nobel prize in chemistry.

The winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, honouring Alfred Nobel, the founder of the five Nobel prizes, will be revealed on Monday.

No Nobel literature prize will be awarded this year due to a sex abuse scandal at the Swedish Academy, which choses the winner.

The academy plans to announce both the 2018 and the 2019 winner next year — although the head of the Nobel Foundation has said the body must fix its tarnished reputation first.

The man at the centre of the Swedish Academy scandal, Jean-Claude Arnault, a major cultural figure in Sweden, was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for rape.

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