Congo doesn’t Need an Apology, It Needs Justice and Reparations

Hits: 219

Protests against racism sparked by the police killing of George Floyd continue to sweep the globe, including in Belgium, where activists have demanded the removal of statues of King Leopold II, and an acknowledgement of the horrors he inflicted on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Pointing to a statue of King Leopold II, an activist told Reuters,

“We won’t accept this until the government understands that this belongs in a museum, not in public space. Because it is a shame.”

Leopold’s descendant King Philippe expressed regret in a letter amid the protests, and as Congo celebrated 60 years of independence on June 30.

“Our history is made of common achievements but has also experienced painful episodes. During the period of the Congo Free State, acts of violence and cruelty were committed, which still weigh on our collective memory,” he wrote.

But the King’s letter fell short of apologizing for the country’s actions. Many argue that’s not enough.

An estimated 10-15 million people were killed during King Leopold’s rule, one of the bloodiest atrocities in modern history.

“What Congolese are demanding is bigger than apology, it is justice, and justice looks like reparations,” Kambale Musavuli, a human rights activist and native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, told The Real News.

Under the guise of a humanitarian mission, and with the backing of the United States and Europe, Belgium claimed control of the Congo in 1885. An area the size of Western Europe, the region was rich with ivory and rubber. Colonial forces worked the Congolese to death harvesting these natural resources, without pay, to meet a growing demand from the nascent automobile industry.

“Congolese were literally slaves on their own land. Their hands were chopped off, they were killed,” said Musavuli, who works for the Center for Research on Congo.

Congo’s exploitation did not end when the atrocities were exposed in the media and a global campaign forced Leopold to relinquish his control of the territory in 1908, which was then transferred to Belgium:

“Congolese fought in World War I and World War II, not because they wanted to go fight, but because they were under colonial rule. And many of the ex-combatants actually received no pay as they fought these wars.” Musavuli said.

Belgium continued to exploit Congo’s natural resources, including uranium, which was sold to the United States to make the nuclear weapons that bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

In 2002, Belgium apologized for its role in the Jan. 1961 killing of Patrice Lumumba, a Congolese independence leader and the nation’s first elected prime minister. Lumumba was assassinated by Belgium and the United States for this opposition to the exploitation of the country’s natural resources by corporate interests. The apology did not mean Lumumba’s killers were brought to justice.

“[After the apology] Belgian mercenaries were doing interviews in documentaries, explaining how they removed Lumumba’s teeth. And one of them actually said that he kept one of Patrice Lumumba’s teeth. And no one has been arrested,” Musavuli said.

Belgium continues to exert influence over Congo till this day:

“The United Nation reports in the early 2000s about 85 companies were being paid for income with resources during the latest war, that’s claimed the lives of 16 year millions Congolese During that period, there were Belgian companies again trading Congo’s resources illegally pilfered by rebels in the DRC,”  Musavuli said.

For there to be justice, Musavuli argues, Belgium must pay for its past and ongoing crimes and exploitation of the Congolese people:

“Congo doesn’t need charity, Congo needs justice,” Musavuli said.


Originally published on 2020-07-13

Author: Jaisal Noor

Source: The Real News

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
Drama at the UN Security Council: Israel’s Illegal Settlements
“The United States has been sending a message that the settlements must stop privately and publicly for nearly five decades.” Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN Christians following the Gregorian calendar are getting busy to celebrate Christmas, but the business of diplomacy continued in the United Nations.  In the Security Council, anticipation about a particular resolution was greater than usual. On Friday, interest was piqued by what the Obama administration’s representative, Samantha Power, would do about a particular resolution that had riled Israeli politicians, US president-elect Donald Trump, and various members of the US Congress. Resolution 2334, as worded, demanded that Israel “immediately ...
READ MORE
America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A Military History
Andrew Bacevich has written a series of books on the topic of U.S. imperialism and U.S. military power.   His latest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East [the GME War] is the latest in this series and as with the previous works is clearly written and logically presented.  It covers more narrowly than the previous works the military aspects of U.S. military endeavours in the Middle East (greater – as in including East Africa and Afghanistan et al).  Generally he succeeds well and this work is a good ‘primer’ for anyone interested in a quick historical overview of U.S. ...
READ MORE
Libya: Ten Things about Gaddafi They don’t want You to Know
What do you think of when you hear the name Colonel Gaddafi? Tyrant? Dictator? Terrorist? Well, a national citizen of Libya may disagree but we want you to decide. For 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa. So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV, Gaddafi did some powerful things that are not characteristic of a “vicious dictator” as portrayed by the western media. Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about… 1. In Libya a home is ...
READ MORE
American Warmongering and Opportunism on Parade
The United States collectively speaking lost its mind last week during a multi-day orgy of smug self-satisfaction centered on the obsequies culminating in the state funeral of Senator John McCain. McCain became the Everyman American-style, embodying virtues that all red-blooded lovers of freedom should aspire to, a hero who fought “for the life and liberty of other people’s in other lands.” He was a man, according to the media, of matchless nobility who endured torture for love of country, a war hero who put down his sword before starting a long career in government service where he selflessly defended liberty and justice worldwide. Unfortunately, ...
READ MORE
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
Media narrative: Hateful protestors stormed the Macedonian parliament after an ethnic Albanian Talat Xhaferi was elected speaker for the first time. Truth: Protestors stormed the parliament because Xhaferi was declared speaker in an illegal, unconstitutional manner as part of an ongoing coup d'état. It had nothing whatsoever to do with his ethnicity. Even though Xhaferi was "elected" in an irregular manner, the US and EU have already stated they recognize his appointment. This now paves the way for ethnic Albanian parties and the smaller of two main Macedonian parties (Social Democrats) to proclaim a government without the constitutionally required go-ahead from the President of the Republic. The latter has defied ...
READ MORE
The Other Side of John McCain
As the Cold War entered its final act in 1985, journalist Helena Cobban participated in an academic conference at an upscale resort near Tucson, Arizona, on U.S.-Soviet interactions in the Middle East. When she attended what was listed as the “Gala Dinner with keynote speech”, she quickly learned that the virtual theme of the evening was, “Adopt a Muj.” “I remember mingling with all of these wealthy Republican women from the Phoenix suburbs and being asked, ‘Have you adopted a muj?” Cobban told me. “Each one had pledged money to sponsor a member of the Afghan mujahedin in the name ...
READ MORE
Americans Pay Price for Criminal Wars From Mass Shootings at Home
America’s horrendous gun violence can be attributed to many factors, but there is one factor that is hardly talked about or explored in public discourse – the apparent link between mass shootings and the rampant culture of US militarism.Mass shootings in the US – involving four or more persons – occur on an almost daily basis. The most recent major atrocity was in Virginia Beach last month in which 12 people were killed. The shooter was reportedly a military veteran.Turns out that US military veterans are disproportionately responsible for violent gun deaths among American civilians. Investigative journalist David Swanson has ...
READ MORE
Why are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel?
Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist foreign policy. Over the next ten years, the US taxpayer will be forced to give Israel some $38 billion dollars in military aid. It is money we cannot afford going to a country that needs no assistance to maintain its status as the most powerful military in the Middle East.All US foreign aid is immoral and counterproductive. As I have often said, it is money taken from poor people in the US and sent to rich people overseas. That is ...
READ MORE
Russophobia and the Specter of War
Could global warming pose the greatest threat to the future of life on the planet? Quite possibly, if we believe the international (and scientific) consensus, despite a widening stratum of debunkers, deniers, and skeptics. What about the prospects of thermonuclear war between the United States and Russia, two countries armed to the max and seemingly moving toward the brink of military conflict? Where does that rate? If the question is asked of most any Beltway denizen, the response might be something along lines of “sounds frightening, but right now we have other priorities, and we can’t lose sight of the ...
READ MORE
Trump and the Wolfowitz Doctrine
As President Trump affirms publicly his commitment to friendly relations with Russia at an economic summit in Hanoi, (the first President since Franklin Roosevelt to do so), the press backs the special prosecutor seeking to indict him, while NATO continues to ramp up its forces on Russia’s borders with Europe by bringing in tanks and other ‘defensive’ weapons. Although the United States was founded on Christian principles, and has one of the highest percentages of people practicing a religion of any Western country, most Americans seem not to realize that their country is building a case for nuclear war with the ...
READ MORE
The Crimean Tatar Card is Being Played Again
The Crimean Tatar writer and artist Diana Kadi recently wrote an open letter to Angela Merkel:“I am the author of a novel about the Crimea. Since an information war is being waged of such intensity that propaganda and lies have become the norm, I believe that it is important for me to set forth my views on the subject of the Crimea. Ukrainian politicians claim that Russia is the aggressor and that Crimean Tatars are oppressed, but that is simply untrue. My people have once again become an instrument of political manipulation. The alleged oppression of the Crimean Tatars is ...
READ MORE
Nationalism Rising: A Torchlight March for Lithuania
I am surrounded by sea of people, all marching with torches. A chant begins: Lye Tu Vah! Lye Tu Vah! Lye Tu Vah! The chant becomes a roar and then dies away. It is patriotic Lithuanians shouting out the name of their country as they march through the streets of their capital city, Vilnius. We are celebrating the 101st anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania as an independent state. I feel a great surge of emotion as I join the chanting, swept away by the love these people feel for each other and for their land.We march to Cathedral Square, ...
READ MORE
Shield of the Union: How the Russian Navy Protected America in the Civil War
Strange things happen in civil wars: During the Russian Civil War in 1919, 13,000 U.S. troops were dispatched by President Woodrow Wilson to occupy the cities of Archangelsk in the Arctic and Vladivostok on the Pacific.Half a century earlier, thousands of Imperial Russian Navy sailors and their officers flooded the cities of San Francisco and New York. But the circumstances were very different. They were there to defend the United States from foreign invasion – not to threaten it and they brilliantly succeeded in their tasks.The incredible story is well told in “Friends in Peace and War: The Russian Navy’s ...
READ MORE
How Yugoslavia was Created: The 1917 Corfu Declaration
The Consequences of WWI and the YugoslavsThe end of WWI in November 1918 as a consequence of the military collapse of the Central Powers and the following series of peace treaties of Versailles on June 28th, 1919 between the Allies and Germany, of St Germain on September 10th, 1919 with Austria, of Neuilly on November 27th, 1919 with Bulgaria, and finally of Trianon on June 4th, 1920 with Hungary, produced major border changes in Central, South-East, and East Europe as the continent saw the emergence of several of new states and the enlargement of others fortunate enough to be on ...
READ MORE
The Pan-Slavism and Tsarist Russia’s Balkan policy
The Balkan Peninsula together with the region of South-East Europe historically has been one of the most important focal points of the Russian foreign policy, cultural influences and attempts to spread an ideology of the Orthodox solidarity and the Slavic reciprocity.[1] These ideas are common to almost all trends of the Russian public life in the past and today. After Russia lost the Great Crimean War of 1853–1856 she intensified its cultural influence in the region of the South-East Europe for the purposes of beating the Habsburg (the Roman-Catholic) rivalry and to spread an idea of the Pan-Slavism in this part ...
READ MORE
The West vs Russia: Towards the End of a Pax Americana?
A peaceful dissolution of the USSR according to the agreement between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan in 1988 in Reykjavik brought a new dimension of global geopolitics in which up to 2008 Russia, as a legal successor state of the USSR, was playing an inferior role in global politics when an American Neocon concept of Pax Americana became the fundamental framework in international relations. Therefore, for instance, Boris Yeltsin’s Russia capitulated in 1995 to the American design regarding a final outcome of the USA/EU policy of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia in November 1995 (the Dayton Agreement) followed by even worse ...
READ MORE
Interview with Historian David Motadel: Islam and Nazi Germany’s War
In your book, "Islam and Nazi Germany's War", you write about the policies of the Nazis towards Islamic political entities. What form did they take?David Motadel: At the height of the war in 1941-1942, when German troops entered Muslim-populated territories in the Balkans, North Africa, Crimea and the Caucasus and were approaching the Middle East and Central Asia, Berlin began to see Islam as politically significant. Nazi Germany made significant attempts to promote an alliance with the "Muslim world" against their alleged common enemies – the British Empire, the Soviet Union, America and Jews.In the war zones, Germany engaged with ...
READ MORE
Here’s How the US, Israel, al-Qaeda and ISIS Work Together in Syria
The Syrian battlefield is now witnessing an escalation of the war. This is despite the fact that it is supposed to be a time of cessation of hostilities brokered by the US and Russia. The Syrian war has two major fronts. The first and most important is in southern Syria, on the borderline with Israel and the occupied territories of the Syrian Golan Heights.  This area is divided into two areas:  the liberated area of Al-Quneitra, and the occupied area of the Golan Heights where Jabhat Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda’s base their fighters. Israel has been attempting to drive the Syrian army out ...
READ MORE
The Hysterics of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė
The outbursts of anti-Russian rhetoric of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is certainly very bizarre in view of her curriculum vitae. Dalia Grybauskaitė is a very educated woman. Because of the free education system of the former USSR, she was able to complete her university education at the elite Saint Petersburg State University. She became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1983, some five years before she earned a doctoral degree at the prestigious Academy of Social Sciences in Moscow. It is generally known that not every applicant is routinely accepted to become a Party member. This ...
READ MORE
The CIA’s Involvement in Chile’s 9/11 Military Coup
Though intelligence documents from the 1973 coup period have been declassified since 1999, the CIA continues to censor them.The CIA continues to withhold information on its involvement in the Sept. 11, 1973 coup that led to the death of President Salvador Allende in Chile, followed by adeadly dictatorship, according to documents posted Friday by the National Security Archive.In the list of published documents, the section regarding Chile is censored. The President’s Daily Briefs, the intelligence reports given daily to the U.S. president, in particular former President Richard Nixon days before Allende’s death, were among those censored.According to Peter Kornbluh, director ...
READ MORE
Drama at the UN Security Council: Israel’s Illegal Settlements
America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A Military History
Libya: Ten Things about Gaddafi They don’t want You to Know
American Warmongering and Opportunism on Parade
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
The Other Side of John McCain
Americans Pay Price for Criminal Wars From Mass Shootings at Home
Why are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel?
Russophobia and the Specter of War
Trump and the Wolfowitz Doctrine
The Crimean Tatar Card is Being Played Again
Nationalism Rising: A Torchlight March for Lithuania
Shield of the Union: How the Russian Navy Protected America in the Civil War
How Yugoslavia was Created: The 1917 Corfu Declaration
The Pan-Slavism and Tsarist Russia’s Balkan policy
The West vs Russia: Towards the End of a Pax Americana?
Interview with Historian David Motadel: Islam and Nazi Germany’s War
Here’s How the US, Israel, al-Qaeda and ISIS Work Together in Syria
The Hysterics of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė
The CIA’s Involvement in Chile’s 9/11 Military Coup

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu