WATCH: Belgium’s King Philippe visits DRC, monarch’s first visit to former colony

Belgium’s King Philippe visited the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, his first visit as monarch to its former colony.

Belgium’s King Philippe. File picture: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Belgium’s King Philippe visited the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, his first visit as monarch to its former colony.

Cape Town – Belgium’s King Philippe visited the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC on Tuesday.

The momentous visit came two years after the Belgian king wrote to Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi to express his “deep regrets” for the “wounds of the past”.

The monarch’s visit to the DRC comes two years after he apologised for atrocities committed during Belgium’s brutal colonial era, said various Brussels media reports.

The six-day trip has been billed as a chance for reconciliation between the two countries, Belgian media reports.

Belgium’s colonisation of the Congo was one of the harshest imposed by the European powers that ruled most of Africa in the late 19th and 20th centuries, according to Africanews.com.

King Leopold II, the brother of Philippe’s great-great-grandfather, oversaw the conquest of what is now the DRC, ruling the territory as his personal property between 1885 and 1908 before it became a Belgian colony.

The monarch’s visit to the DRC comes two years after he apologised for atrocities committed during Belgium’s brutal colonial era. The six-day trip has been billed as a chance for reconciliation between the two countries.

Furthermore, the King returned a traditional mask to the central African country, where many remain angry at Belgium’s failure to apologise for decades of brutal rule.

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