DR Congo: The Worst Belgian Colonial atrocities the Congolese can Never Forget!

When the Belgian king expressed his «deepest regrets» for the actions of his ancestors in the DRC, it stirred up the collective memory of Congolese people about Belgian colonial atrocities. However, many feel that the king’s apologies were not sufficient to fully acknowledge the suffering inflicted by the brutality of Belgian colonialism.

King Philippe of Belgium voiced “regrets” for the humiliations and punishments inflicted on the Congolese people during colonization, but he did not issue an official apology for the exploitation, racism, and acts of violence perpetrated under Belgian rule.

While the king has started to confront his country’s colonial past, many believe that his words fall short of fully recognizing the gravity of the atrocities committed.

Here is an overview of the worst Belgian colonial atrocities in the DRC:

Death of 10 million Congolese: Under King Leopold II’s reign, up to 10 million Congolese died due to murders, famine, and disease during the early decades of Belgian colonization.

Rapes and torture: King Leopold II turned Congo into a massive labor camp to harvest wild rubber, cruelly exploiting the local population and subjecting many to rape and torture.

Cutting off hands and feet: Congolese who resisted colonial oppression were often punished by having their hands and feet cut off.

These brutal acts were perpetrated to assert colonial superiority and suppress any form of resistance.

Removal of Leopold II statue: In 2020, protesters removed the statue of King Leopold II from a public square in Antwerp, symbolizing a growing rejection of Belgium’s racist colonial past.

Belgian colonial atrocities remain a sensitive topic in the DRC, reminding people of the sufferings endured under foreign domination. While the Belgian king expresses regrets, many Congolese continue to demand official apologies and reparations for past colonial injustices.

Jean-Robert Tchandy

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