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  • DRC's independence is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

    DRC's independence is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. | Photo: AFP

Published 30 June 2020
Opinion

The King's apology came amidst a global anti-racism demonstration.

The King of Belgium Philip Leopold sent a letter to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo on Tuesday to apologize for the violent events which occurred while it colonized the region.

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For over a century, Belgium turned the Congo into a slave state governed by Leopold II. From 1885 to 1908, a period known as Congo Free State, acts of violence and cruelty were committed, something Leopold pleaded forgiveness for. According to historians estimates, nearly 10 million people died then.

"(Those acts) still, weigh heavily on our collective memory. The colonial period that followed also caused suffering and humiliation"

DRC's independence is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020. King Leopold's letter answers all the anti-racism voices that have been demanding Belgium to address its colonial past

"This anniversary is an opportunity to renew our feelings of deep friendship and to rejoice in the intense cooperation that exists between our two countries in so many fields, and especially in the medical field, which mobilizes us during this pandemic period," the letter says.

"I will continue to fight against all forms of racism. I encourage the reflection initiated by our parliament so that our memory will finally be pacified."

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