Strong ceremony and jubilant homage for peace prize winners
Several thousand met to commemorate the peace prize winners, Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege. From the two, the message was crystal clear: there is enough sympathy, the world needs to act.
“If there is one war to be conducted, it is the war against indifference that blows over our society,” said peace prize winner, Denis Mukwege, in a speech after he received the peace prize in Oslo City Hall on Monday, along with Iraqi, Nadia Murad.
The figures displayed during the emotional Nobel Prize brought both prize winners, royals, and politicians to tears.
“There were strong stories they had to tell,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) after the ceremony.
Enough is enough!
Mukwege works as a doctor at the Panzi hospital in Congo, in which role he has witnessed the brutal abuse of women and children in armed conflicts for a number of years. In his Nobel lecture, he told a terrible story about an eighteen-month-old girl who had been raped by a local politician in the village of Kuvamu.
The same happened to at least 48 other children, without either the world or the community responding.
“This has been made possible by an absent State, because traditional values have collapsed and impunity can prevail, especially for those who are in power,” said Mukwege.
“There has been enough violence in Congo now. Enough is enough! Peace now!” was the message from the peace prize winner.
Cheers and tears
Mukwege was repeatedly interrupted by cheers and unusually long applause. Crown Princess Mette-Marit and the leader of the Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, were among those who were brought to tears.
They also heard Nadia Murad, who belongs to the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq. Along with thousands of other women, she was taken as a prisoner and used as sex slave by the jihadist group, IS.
The peace prize winner was clearly marked, both by what she herself had been exposed to and by her burning commitment to the perpetrators to be held responsible.
‘’After the genocide of the Yazidi people, we gained international and local sympathy, and many countries realised that this was genocide. But it did not stop,’’ Murad said.
“Young girls are being sold, bought, held captive and raped every single day. It is unthinkable that leaders in 195 countries around the world do not mobilise to free these girls ” she said.
Long awaited prize
Among the guests who filled Oslo City Hall during the ceremony, was the Human Rights Attorney, Amal Clooney, who fights for IS to one day be held responsible.
The Nobel Committee has received a lot of praise for awarding this year’s peace prize to Murad and Mukwege, both of whom have been nominated several times. Many believe it is high time that the fight against sexual violence in war and conflict is put on the agenda.
That the award is popular was not least brought to mind during the traditionally torch-lit march in honour of the award winners on Monday evening. This year, at least four thousand people had arrived, and for the first time, torches were sold out, the organiser, Norway’s Peace Council, told NTB news.
When Murad and Mukwege stood on the balcony of the Grand Hotel to receive the tribute, the jubilation rose to the sky. Then they went into a five-course gala dinner where the royal family, political leaders and other celebrities were present.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today