Melania Trump Honors Africa's Colonial Past While Ignoring Devastating Cuts To African Women's Health

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Two people were in the global news in Africa yesterday -- Melania Trump in her colonial hat rolling around Kenya -- and Dr. Denis Mukwege, with his Nobel Peace Prize, co-shared with Nadia Murad.

I spent my time writing Friday about the revered Dr. Mukewege, who I’ve followed for over a decade. One wonders just how much funding Trump has cut to the women in the Congo and across Africa. It's billions.

Regarding Melania Trump, to roll into Africa looking like she just stepped out of the colonial masters period is just too much. I'm tired of her making statements with clothes and then professing that we are attacking her and not listening to her voice.

In A Time Of Turmoil, Dr. Mukwege's Nobel Peace Prize Is A Heavenly Gift For Us All

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In A Time Of Turmoil, Dr. Mukwege's Nobel Peace Prize Is A Heavenly Gift For Us All

Introduction from Anne: Professor De Reus considered the humanitarian righteousness of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Congolese physician Denis Mukwege in 2015, a tremendous honor that was not his that year.

AOC has a decade-long history of writing about the courageous vision of Dr. Mukwege and the horrific challenges faced by women of the Congo. To awaken on October 5, 2018 and read that Dr. Mukwege and activist Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman once taken captive by ISIS, were sharing the 2018 Nobel prize was truly good news at a stressful time in America and around the world.

I met up with Professor De Reus in my own East Coast backyard and also watched her TEDx Talk featured at the end of her article. If you don’t know about Dr. Mukwege and his Panzi Hospital, Lee Ann De Reus shares an excellent 2015 overview.

Congo's Dr Denis Mukwege Calls For 100% New Recruits In Army & With No History of Sexual Violence

Congo’s Dr Denis Mukwege Calls For 100% New Recruits In Army & With No History of Sexual Violence

Last week Dr Mukwege described the Congolese army as being mired in a culture of violence and as being ‘completely sick’, so sick that it should be disarmed and replaced with new recruits who have never committed sexual violence or fought for a violent militia, reports The Guardian.

The UN estimates that one-third of the rapes that occur in the eastern part of the country are committed by members of the army. Dr Mukwege’s questioning the wisdom of the international community spending large sums of money to support an army that is the greatest perpetrator of violence against women and sometimes men, too, is timely.

Eye | Dr Denis Mukwege Assasination Attempt in Congo

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Noted Women’s Rights Activist in Congo Eludes Group of Gunmen NY Times

On Thursday evening, a group of unidentified gunmen entered the home of the activist, Dr. Denis Mukwege, forcing his two daughters and their friend onto the floor and threatening to shoot them if they made any noise, according to a statement from Physicians for Human Rights, a humanitarian organization based in the United States. Dr. Mukwege, a past Nobel Peace Prize nominee and ferocious advocate for women, is devoted to treating women rape victims with an emphasis on repairing fistulas. 

The gunmen forced their way into his car, and one stepped out and trained his gun on the doctor. Then one of his security guards appeared out of nowhere. The gunman menacing Dr. Mukwege whirled around and opened fire on the guard instead, Dr. Mukwege said, then fired at him. “They were shooting bullets in my direction,” he said. He scrambled to get away, and the assailants ran out of ammunition without hitting him. “And then they just jumped again in the car.”

Dr. Mukwege’s family was unharmed but his security guard — Papa Djef, as he was known to the family — was killed. “He was like my child,” Dr. Mukwege said. “He was really a brave man. He just paid his life to save mine.”

AOC has long tracked the atrocities against women of the Congo, with a special focus on Smart Sensuality woman Eve Ensler and a top supporter and advocate for women in East Africa, Charlize Theron.