For the first time in the history of the country, the Belgian monarch formally apologized to the African state of Congo during the period of “international governance” of the country, which in fact made Congo a colony of Belgium. King Philip called the acts of violence that occurred in the past “the burden of the collective memory of the Belgians.”
These days, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence. Leaders of many states sent congratulations to President Felix Chisecedi. The king of Belgium was no exception, despite the special relations linking these countries.
Philip not only congratulated the Congolese on the holiday but also acknowledged that during the reign of King Leopold II, who actually made Congo his personal colony, numerous acts of violence and cruelty were committed.
These acts, according to the king, “remain a heavy burden” for all Belgians. He apologized for all the suffering and humiliation inflicted on the indigenous population of the country during the years of colonization.
Nevertheless, the Spanish monarch diplomatically refused a visit to Congo on official celebrations in the Republic of the Congo, citing an improper situation: the Black Lives Matter campaign is gaining momentum in Belgium, a wave of anti-racist riots has swept through the cities of the country, including vandals toppling the monuments of Leopold II , who was the main ideologist of the capture of the Congo in 1885-1908.