King Philippe presented this Tuesday, June 30, for the first time in the history of Belgium, “his deepest regrets for the injuries»Inflicted during the Belgian colonial period in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a letter to the President of the DRC, Félix Tshisekedi, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the independence of this country, King Philippe wrote:I would like to express my deepest regrets for these wounds of the past, the pain of which is today revived by the discrimination still present in our societies».
«At the time of the independent state of Congo (when this African territory was the property of ex king Léopold II, note) acts of violence and cruelty were committed, which still weigh on our collective memory“Said Philippe, who has ruled since 2013.”The colonial period that followed (that of the Belgian Congo from 1908 to 1960) also caused suffering and humiliation“, he added.
For a “peaceful memory”
King Philippe affirmed his commitment to “combat all forms of racism». «I encourage the reflection that is initiated by our parliament so that our memory is definitively pacified“, He continued.
In Belgium, the death of the African-American George Floyd, asphyxiated at the end of May by a white police officer in Minneapolis, has revived the debate on the violence of the colonial period in the Congo and the very controversial role of the late King Leopold II, accused by some anti-colonial activists for killing millions of Congolese.
” SEE AS WELL – Belgium: symbol of colonialism, a statue of King Leopold II removed in Antwerp