Reactions as Belgian King sends Congo shocking letter on 60th Independence Anniversary

Social media site, Twitter, flew the blue-yellow-red flag of Congo, high in honour of their 60th independence on Tuesday. Conversations on how far the country had come, the notable personalities who made it possible and the unexpected letter from Belgium’s King dominated the cyberspace

 

Congo had been under Belgian colonial rule for more than 75 years under the lead of Leopold II of Belgium. In this time the Belgians never let any Congolese elite rise to power, so when they exited the nation, there very few who knew how to run the country. It was said that Belgium’s rule was so brutal that the population in Congo had drastically reduced from 20 million in 1885 to just half of that by 1908. 

They eventually attained independence from the European power on the 30th of June 1960 under the name, Republic of the Congo. However, the country still remained unstable and conflicts quickly arose. Patrice Lumumba had been elected the first Prime Minister, and Joseph Kasa-Vubu the first President, but violent disputes arose over the administration of the territory; tagged the Congo Crisis. The consequences of this crisis led to the torture and death of Patrice Lumbamba.

Africans on Twitter took this moment to honour the Congolese Nationalist, for his visionary movement and role in the independence of Congo. 

 

In the vibrations of the independence celebration and under the spotlight of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Belgian King, King Phillipe sent an unprecedented letter of remorse to the Republic of Congo. The King sent his “deepest regrets” to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) because of the “suffering and humiliation” Congo had suffered in the hands of Belgium. He, however, did not explicitly apologise for his ancestor’s atrocities.  

 

With the letter becoming public, Africans and Nigerians alike had a lot of comments to attach to the issue. Many proclaimed that “deepest regrets” did not suffice; claiming that the years of harm done by the Belgium rule deserved nothing less than reparations.

 

Many have pointed fingers at the tyrannical rule of the Belgians as the reason 70 percent of the population of Congo live in poverty, despite their rich natural resources. 

 

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail