On a visit to Congo, the king and queen meet the victims of war: “We are very touched to be here” (video)


King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, on the last day of their journey in the Democratic Republic of Congo, visited Sunday the hospital of Dr. Mukwege in Panzi, in the suburbs of Bukavu (South Kivu, east). The couple was able to meet a hundred hospitalized women, as well as a victim who had just had surgery. The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize underlined on this occasion the courage and humanity of the sovereigns. “We are speechless in the face of the testimonies of these women who have been touched to the depths of themselves“, for his part commented on the King.

In Panzi, Dr. Mukwege treats women, mainly victims of sexual violence, which he once described as a weapon of war in Kivu. They receive medical and psychological care there, as well as help to enable them to be reintegrated into their community. “Jwas raped in Gabon and treated at Panzi Hospital“, testified a victim on Sunday. “After that, I didn’t want to go back to my village or my country. Dr. Mukwege then offered me training and I have now been working here for seven months as a midwife, which allows me to raise my five children. .”


“The man who mends women”, as director Thierry Michel called him in his film, attaches great importance to the visit of sovereigns to his region, which has been plagued by a major increase in tension for several weeks: “It’s a very strong signal. After their meetings in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, the royal couple comes here in contact with the population and the suffering of women. It shows their humanity.”.

The hospital is now waiting for Belgium, along with other countries, to alert the Concert of Nations to the fact that eastern Congo is once again in an emergency situation. “At the international level, there are double standards. The whole world is pouring out about the conflict in Ukraine, but we hardly talk about what is happening here.”

The Panzi institution is as critical of the M23 rebels and the support they receive from abroad as it is of its own government. “L’The influx of victims is incessant and most perpetrators enjoy impunity. There are good laws, but they are not enforced. We hope the royal visit will put pressure on the government to reform the justice system.”, added Dr. Neema Rhukunghu. With ULiège, the latter works more particularly on the reintegration of victims into their community.

Women, but also some men, are regularly rejected after being abused. “Although they are physically treated here, there is sometimes disappointment on the side of the victims, even frustration. With the Liège researchers, we focus on recognition. We try to make the communities understand that the victims n have no responsibility for what happened to them“.

Other Belgian institutions collaborate with the clinic. The Limburg company Glim Service has thus spent the last two weeks developing the operating room visited on Sunday by the royal couple. “This hospital is extremely advanced, even by Belgian standards.”, underlined the director of the company, Angelo Cruysberghs. “The Nobel Prize and other titles received by Dr. Mukwege made it easier for him to raise funds thanks to his worldwide reputation.” “We are very touched to be here”, said Queen Mathilde. “We will carry your word in Congo and outside”, she assured. The visit was the last leg of the royal couple’s stay in the DRC. The delegation will have dinner again on Sunday evening in Lubumbashi, before returning to Belgium on Monday evening.



Source- https://www.rtl.be/people/potins/en-visite-au-congo-le-roi-et-la-reine-rencontrent-les-victimes-de-guerre-nous-sommes-tres-touches-d-etre-ici–1382783.aspx