Belgium’s consulate general in Lubumbashi (south-eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo) on Monday re-opened its doors to the public after being closed for two years.
The closure followed a serious Belgian-Congolese diplomatic crisis linked to the postponements of the general elections which were finally held on December 30, 2018.
“This reopening is part of the revival of bilateral relations between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Belgium. It follows the fruitful exchanges between the two countries since the inauguration of President Felix Tshisekedi. The host country’s agreement was given on 27 December 2019 by the Council of Ministers of the DRC,” a press release from the Belga news agency stated on Monday.
The consulate general will offer all the consular services such as authentication, the issuing of passports and identity cards, as well as consular and safety assistance to Belgians living in the provinces of Haut-Katanga, Tanganyika, Haut-Lomami and Lualaba (that is, the territory of the former ‘grand’ province of Katanga).
This diplomatic post can also issue Schengen visas for Belgium and 14 countries in the Schengen zone and long-stay visas for Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the press release added.
The consulate is run by the consul general Bart Coessens, a diplomat previously working in the Belgian embassy in Bulgaria.