Bel­gian ‘re­gret’ for Congo past stirs mixed re­sponse

Arab News - - News Internatio­nal - AFP

DR Congo hailed Bel­gium on Tues­day af­ter its monarch, King Philippe, voiced his “deep­est re­grets” for the coun­try’s bru­tal colo­nial oc­cu­pa­tion, but some in the coun­try de­manded repa­ra­tions for the past.

In a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Felix Tshisekedi on the na­tion’s 60th an­niver­sary of in­de­pen­dence, Philippe ex­pressed un­prece­dented sor­row for colo­nial acts that his­to­ri­ans say led to the death of mil­lions of Con­golese. “I want to ex­press my deep­est re­grets for these wounds of the past whose pain is reawak­ened to­day by the dis­crim­i­na­tion still present in our so­ci­eties,” Philippe said. “Acts of vi­o­lence and cru­elty were com­mit­ted which weigh on our col­lec­tive mem­ory,” he said. DR Congo For­eign Min­is­ter Marie Ntumba Nzeza, in state­ment to AFP, said.

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