Belgium’s King Philippe “Regrets” Genocidal Crimes of King Leopold II

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[King Leopold II]
King Philippe: "I would like to express my deepest regrets for these wounds of the past, the pain of which is now revived by the discrimination still too present in our societies."
Photo: YouTube

Belgium's King Philippe has "regrets" for the genocidal crimes of his uncle King Leopold II who looted the Congo.

The King of Belgium has sent his "deepest regrets" to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the "suffering and humiliation" his nation inflicted while it colonized the region -- but stopped short of apologizing for his ancestor Leopold II's atrocities.

On the 60th anniversary of the DRC's independence, King Philippe of Belgium wrote a letter to President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo in which he admitted that "to further strengthen our ties and develop an even more fruitful friendship, we must be able to talk about our long common history in all truth and serenity."

The acknowledgment is a watershed moment in Belgium's post-colonial history, and a rare admission of imperialist sins from the royal family -- even if Philippe did not go as far as formally apologizing.

"Our history is made of common achievements but has also experienced painful episodes. During the period of the Congo Free State, acts of violence and cruelty were committed, which still weigh on our collective memory," the King wrote.

Philippe is a distant nephew of Leopold II, who owned what was then called Congo Free State between 1885 and 1908 and ruled its people brutally, exploiting their labor and committing atrocities against them. Historians estimate that under Leopold's misrule, as many as 10 million people died.

"The colonial period which followed also caused suffering and humiliation," the letter adds, referring to the subsequent 52 years of rule by the Belgian state until Congo's independence and the formation of the DRC.

"I would like to express my deepest regrets for these wounds of the past, the pain of which is now revived by the discrimination still too present in our societies," he added.

For the rest of this CNN story log on to: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/europe/belgium-drc-leopold-ii-regrets-scl...

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