King Philippe of Belgium: Deep Regret about colonial crimes

for weeks, king Philippe had been silent. Louder and louder the criticism of the colonial past had become of Belgium in the Congo, fanned the flames of the "Bl

King Philippe of Belgium: Deep Regret about colonial crimes

for weeks, king Philippe had been silent. Louder and louder the criticism of the colonial past had become of Belgium in the Congo, fanned the flames of the "Black Lives Matter"movement. But on Tuesday, the Belgian king spoke up and surprised his compatriots.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, Nato and the Benelux countries, based in Brussels.

F. A. Z.

As the African country of his ancestors LeopoldII. belonged, at the end of the 19th century. Century, had there "been acts of violence and cruelty" committed, "the burden is still heavy on our collective memory," wrote Philippe the Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi, in a letter to the sixtieth anniversary of the independence of Belgium.

Also during the Belgian colonial era, it's "Suffering and humiliation" is given. "I would like to Express my deep Regret about these wounds of the past, the pain is now back due to discrimination that there is in our society, too often." Never has said a Belgian king to the colonial period.

Unusually, the Intervention was also because the Belgian Constitution puts the king in narrow limits for a political position. You have to stand in line with the government. However, the head of government gave to the king, immediately back. He had expressed in "full Compliance with the government," said Sophie Wilmès, as you put in the morning a plaque to commemorate the independence of the Congo in the town hall of Ixelles.

In this Brussels municipality of thousands of the Congo read. "One of the" have you called your district, in accordance with a district in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa. For Belgium the hour was to break in here, "the way of truth", sekundierte the Prime Minister. The colonial past was characterized by inequality and violence.

Wilmès made clear that it is now up to the Parliament spent this time to work on. The deputies have voted, two weeks ago, with a large majority in favour of a "truth and reconciliation Commission" to use. Their mandate needs to be clarified. But it is already evident that the Commission is to reappraise the current state of research, and then conclusions will be draw. An official apology for the atrocities and the exploitation of the Congo could include, as well as compensation payments.

Updated Date: 30 June 2020, 10:20

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