Nobel Peace Prize 2018
For nearly a decade, rumors have swirled of Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, this has never been confirmed because of the committee's highly-secretive selection process.
But having dedicated his life to fixing the broken bodies of brutalized and violated women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he has certainly always been a strong contender. Yet each year, another name was announced -- until now.
Finally, Mukwege was jointly awarded the 2018 prize with Iraqi rights activist Nadia Murad.
Through his Panzi Hospital, Mukwege has earned the nickname "the man who mends women" after treating thousands of survivors of rape and sexual violence, which has been used as a weapon of war since the conflict begain in the east of the DRC in 1995.
Our live updates are now drawing to a close but read CNN's profile of the work Mukwege has doggedly continued amid threats to his life and those of his family in a nation been ripped apart by war.
Nadia Murad once dreamed of becoming a history teacher or maybe a makeup artist. Instead, her life was brutally torn apart by ISIS militants and like so many other Yazidis endured horrific sexual violence at their hands.
She eventually escaped ISIS territory and turned to activism to stand up for sexual assault. Read CNN's profile on Murad's courageous work here.
Vian Dakhil, the only lawmaker representing the Yazidis in Iraq's Parliament, praised Nadia Murad after winning 2018 Noble Prize.
“With her courage and tragedy, defeated the logic of injustice, tyranny and servitude. And proved to the whole world that the will of life and peace is above the savagery of terrorism and hard-liner ideas. Congratulations to dear Nadia Murad for winning the Nobel Peace Prize,” Dakhil said in a post on her official Facebook page.
Newly elected Iraqi president, Barham Salih tweeted: “I spoke by telephone with dear Nadia Murad and congratulated her for her Nobel Peace Prize. Nadia's honor reflects the world's recognition of the Yazidis tragedy, and all victims of terrorism in Iraq.”
Salih added that Murad’s recognition is an “appreciation of her courage and perseverance in defending the usurped rights. And it is a tribute to the struggle and steadfastness of Iraqis in the face of terrorism and extremism.”
Separately, the outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi also offered his congratulations to Murad, his media office said in a short statement.
Congratulatory messages are continuing to pour in for 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, with human rights groups appearing to put their seal of approval on the recipients.
Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch's executive director, described their win on Twitter as "long awaited Nobel recognition" of the battle against sexual violence in conflict.
Meanwhile Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, called the joint Nobel honor the "best prize in a long time."
The government of Iraq has expressed its "deepest respect" to Nadia Murad for her "courageous campaigning" against sexual violence in the wake of her joint win of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
In a second tweet, the government reiterated its commitment "to supporting victims of sexual violence perpetrated by Daesh (ISIS) and to delivering meaningful justice to survivors."
In her bid to bring ISIS to justice for the atrocities the group have perpetrated against the Yazidi community in Iraq, Nadia Murad joined forces with international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
With Clooney's counsel and support, Murad helped to put a face and a voice to the brutal realities of life under ISIS, revealing her traumatic experiences of being kidnapped, enslaved and raped by ISIS fighters in Mosul in 2014.
"I was taken with groups of unmarried girls and they took us all to rape us. they came not just to attack certain people, they came for all Yazidis," she told CNN last year.
Clooney said she wanted to help because the Yazidi community has endured "some of the worst crimes of our generation."
"We haven't seen a single prosecution against ISIS in a court anywhere in the world for the crimes committed against the Yazidis," Clooney said.
"What happened to (Nadia's) family happened to thousands of Yazidis in 2014 ... these are just simply some of the worst crimes of our generation. As an international lawyer, I wanted to try and help Nadia and people like her."
Malala Yousafzai paid tribute to this year's winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in a tweet on Friday, writing "their work saves lives and helps women speak out about sexual violence."
Malala became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner at just 17 years old back in 2014. She shared the honor with Indian children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.
One of this year's winners, Nadia Murad, was born in 1993, making her 24 or 25.
Shortly after Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad were named as the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, last year's recipients -- the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) -- offered up some advice about the days and year ahead, saying that "nothing can prepare you for the rush."
In a post on Facebook, ICAN started off their list of things to know with a useful tip -- take a second and "breathe."
"This is going to be a wild ride. Everything will happen at once, but don’t try to do it all at once," ICAN wrote.
The group warned the attention could be overwhelming and encouraged Mukwege and Murad to call in reinforcements for support. ICAN explained they will be inundated with invitations and offers but gently reminded them that "you don't have to accept all of them."
ICAN described the experience of winning the prize as "weird and wonderful", suggested this year's winners take a moment to celebrate before getting back to business.
Lastly, ICAN offered up a piece of practical advice telling the winners to avoid speaking of their shock at being honored in interviews because "that's all they're going to show."
ICAN ended its post, "Of course you knew your work was worthy. It’s why you do it. Congratulations."
The prestigious honor of a Nobel prize is shrouded in so much secrecy that laureates often only find out in the minutes before their name is publicly announced.
As a result, it's not unusual for the world to know who the winners are before they find out themselves.
On Friday, committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen confirmed this to be the case.
"We have tried to contact the winners and we haven’t managed to get through on the phone. If they are watching this, my heartfelt congratulations," she said.