Belgium’s King Philippe on his first official tour of the Democratic Republic of Congo has expressed “deepest regrets” for his nation’s colonial-era abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Speaking to the DRC parliament in KInshasha, on Wednesday, King Phillipe accompanied by his wife, Queen Mathilde, and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, King Phillipe, said although many Belgians invested themselves sincerely in the Congo and its people, the colonial regime itself was based on exploitation and domination.
“This regime was one of unequal relations, unjustifiable in itself, marked by paternalism, discrimination and racism,” he said.
Philippe returned a traditional mask of the Suku people held for decades by Belgium’s Royal Museum for Central Africa to Congo’s national museum as an “indefinite loan”. Belgium has historically avoided talking about their colonial history in Africa.