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Denis Mukwenge, surgeon: 'This hospital is really a maternity clinic but because of the war it became an asylum for thousands of women who had been sexually assaulted. An average of ten new victims a day report to the hospital. Sexual violence is a weapon of war. A nuclear bomb that blows society apart. The barbarism just keeps on. The Panszi Hospital opened its doors ten years ago. Things were very difficult from the start. Various armies from Africa came here to fight their battles: the Ugandans, the Rwandans, the Burundians, the Zimbabweans and the Congolese. It was total war and it seemed as if all the soldiers looking to rape Congolese women. I was operating almost non-stop. I have chalked up 25,000 operations. In the past it was kept quiet: fear of reprisals meant we could not tell the outside world about the horrors happening here. And still the reprisals came: soldiers came and carried off women who were never heard of again. By 2001 I had had enough. I felt it was not enough to operate on one violated woman after another. The extent and brutality of the violence was intolerable. This had to be officially reported. So then I contacted Human Rights Watch. At that point I thought: OK, now the world knows about it, now something will surely be done. Well, I was wrong. Because this barbarism just continues. This country has entered a black hole. Because anyone who destroys a woman in society destroys society as a whole.'.