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Australia The Belgian king expresses for the first time "regrets" for the colonial past in the DRC

13:50  30 june  2020
13:50  30 june  2020 Source:   lexpress.fr

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The king of Belgium has become the country’s first reigning monarch to express regret over colonial wrongs in Congo . “ I would like to express my deepest regrets for these wounds of the past , the For those supporting the divisive figure, Leopold II was the one who defended Belgium ’s sovereignty

Belgium 's King Philippe addresses the nation regarding the coronavirus in a televised broadcast at the For the first time in Belgium 's history, a reigning monarch expressed on Tuesday his "deepest regrets " for the "I would like to express my deepest regrets for these wounds of the past , the

"I would like to express my deepest regrets for these wounds of the past", wrote King Philippe to the Congolese president.

Le roi Philippe de Belgique © BELGA / AFP King Philippe of Belgium

The King of the Belgians Philippe presented for the first time in the country's history "his deepest regrets for the wounds" inflicted during the Belgian colonial period in the Congo (the current DRC), this Tuesday on the occasion of sixtieth anniversary of independence .

READ ALSO >> Belgium: Antwerp withdraws a controversial statue of the ex-king of the Belgians Léopold II

In a letter addressed to the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, king Philippe wrote: "I want to express my deepest regrets for these wounds of the past whose pain is today revived by the discriminations still present in our societies ".

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The protests sweeping the world after George Floyd's death in the U.S. have added fuel to a The equestrian bronze was first erected in 1928, but seven years after independence from Belgium in For many years, Belgian colonial authorities peddled the idea that the king went to Congo to stop

Belgium has apologised for some of the abuses committed during its colonial rule in Africa. The injustices include banning mixed-race marriages and

Philippe "encourages reflection"

"At the time of the independent state of Congo [when this African territory was the property of ex-king Leopold II] acts of violence and cruelty were committed, which weigh still on our collective memory, "assured Philippe, who has reigned since 2013." The colonial period that followed [that of the Belgian Congo from 1908 to 1960] also caused suffering and humiliation, "he added.

READ ALSO >> In Africa, one wonders what to do with symbols of colonialism

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, 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 certain anti-colonial activists of having killed millions of Congolese.

Algeria buries remains of anti-French fighters, seeks Paris apology .
Algeria on Sunday buried the remains of 24 resistance fighters returned from Paris after more than a century and a half as it marked the 58th anniversary of its independence from France. The skulls of the fighters, shot and decapitated in the early years of the French occupation, were laid to rest during an emotional ceremony at El Alia cemetery. The coffins draped with the national flag were lowered into freshly dug graves in the martyr'sThe skulls of the fighters, shot and decapitated in the early years of the French occupation, were laid to rest during an emotional ceremony at El Alia cemetery.

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