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Nobel Peace Prize Winners Urge Action Against Sexual Violence

A composite file photo of Nobel Peace Prize winners Denis Mukwege (left) and Nadia Murad

This year's Nobel Peace Prize winners have called for action and justice on behalf of the victims of wartime sexual violence as they accepted their awards on December 10.

Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad received the prize at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. They split the 9-million-Swedish-kronor ($1 million) amount.

Mukwege, who won the prize for his efforts to end the use of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war, urged strong international action against the abuse, including reparations for victims.

Murad, a member of Iraq's Yazidi minority, was abducted and sexually abused by Islamic State militants in 2014, before escaping and becoming an activist.

In his address, Mukwege criticized the international community for allowing Congolese to be "humiliated, abused and massacred for more than two decades in plain sight."

Mukwege is the founder of a hospital in eastern Congo that has treated tens of thousands of victims of the country's conflicts for two decades.

"I insist on reparations, measures that give survivors compensation and satisfaction and enable them to start a new life," he said. "I call on states to support the initiative to create a global fund for reparations for victims of sexual violence in armed conflicts."

"Young girls at the prime of life are sold, bought, held captive, and raped every day," Murad told the audience.

"The fact remains that the only prize in the world that can restore our dignity is justice and the prosecution of criminals," she said.

"It is inconceivable that the conscience of the leaders of 195 countries around the world is not mobilized to liberate these girls," she said.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa