On the 60th anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, King Philippe of Belgium wrote a letter to President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, in which he acknowledged : “To further strengthen our relationship and develop a more fruitful friendship, we must be able to talk about our long-term friendship. There is a common history in all truth and tranquility.”
Philippe is a descendant of Leopold II, who owned the then free Congolese State from 1885 to 1908 and ruthlessly ruled the people, exploited their labor, and They committed atrocities. Historians estimate that up to 10 million people died under Leopold̵
The king wrote: “Our history is the achievement of common achievements, but also experienced painful experiences. During the period of Congo’s independence, violence and cruelty took place, which still affect our collective memory.”
The letter added: “The subsequent colonial period also caused suffering and humiliation.” This was the subsequent 52-year rule of the Belgian government until the establishment of Congolese independence and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Leopold personally ruled the area until 1908.
He added: “I express my deepest regret for these traumas of the past, and the discrimination that still exists in our society now allows this kind of suffering to be restored.”