Tutu Fellow Victor Ochen has been endorsed for the 2015 Nobel Peace prize by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. Ochen and the organisation he founded, African Youth Initiative (AYINET), was jointly nominated earlier this year by the American Friends Service Committee. In it's nomination letter, the AFSC highlighted the impact of the conflict between the government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army. Millions of people have been detrimentally affected, including Ochen, who was a childhood victim of the war.
The Quaker-based organization said in its nomination that despite great personal cost, Ochen managed to survive and support his family and found The African Youth Initiative Network, based in Lira, Uganda, in 2005 and lived up to the promise he made to his mother never to pick up the gun as a solution to violence. AYINET works in two critical areas: medical rehabilitation of those who have suffered burnings, mutilations of all kinds, rape, and psychological torture, and the building and promoting of youth leadership.
President Museveni called attention to the troubled past of the country in his endorsement of Ochen for the Nobel Peace Prize, saying that "...when you create peace, development and prosperity comes." The president was addressing a large rally in the Alebtong district, speaking mostly in the local language, Lango. Ochen is believed to be the first Ugandan and youngest African ever to have been nominated for the prestigious award.
More about the endorsement can be read on the AYINET website.
UPDATE - August 2015
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the patron of the African Leadership Institute and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner has also endorsed Victor Ochen for the prestigious award. In a statement carried on AYINET, Archbishop Tutu said "My heart swells with pride to hear of one of my ‘children’ leading change in Africa. Victor is part of a special group of African leaders who have graduated from the program that bears my name and I wish him well as a potential recipient of this auspicious honour."