Share article:
Share article:

Belgium apologises to children taken from the Congo

© Belga
© Belga

Prime Minister Charles Michel (MR) will make an apology tomorrow about the segregation of “métis” (mixed-race) children snatched from their African mothers at the end of Congo’s colonisation. The apology is to children born in the 40s and 50s in Congo, Rwanda or Burundi, born of a relationship between a Belgian settler and a local woman.

On the eve of Congo’s independence in 1959, the Belgian State organised the sending of a large number of these children to Belgium, where they were put under guardianship, placed in homes, or were adopted by Belgian families.

These children didn’t automatically receive Belgian nationality, and a lot of the time even remained stateless. The majority of the fathers refused to acknowledge their children. Today, some “métis” children are still looking for possible relatives in Africa. African mothers have spent decades of their lives searching for the children that were taken from them.

Belgian’s colonial history is still a delicate subject, which became very clear again a few months ago. UN experts urged the government to apologise for the atrocities committed under colonial rule in the Congo, but the Prime Minister didn’t respond then. These apologies are therefore unique.

The N-VA also wants the king to apologise, reports De Tijd.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Limiting private contacts ‘needed to fight autumn wave’, expert warns
The Consultative Committee announced it is introducing a handful of measures in public spaces to control the quickening spread of the coronavirus, ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
UN issues strong warning ahead of climate change summit in Glasgow
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...
Belgium’s decision on possible third shot postponed until Saturday
The decision on how Belgium will proceed with the roll-out of third shots of the coronavirus vaccine has been postponed until Saturday.  The news ...
Experts and politicians respond to new coronavirus measures
The handful of measures (re-)introduced by Belgium's Consultative Committee on Tuesday in response to the worsening coronavirus situation have had a ...
New fraudulent e-mails circulating in Belgium
A warning has been put out about new phishing e-mails that have been circulating since last Saturday and are sent from what could appear to be an ...
Belgian ‘Space Bakery’ project highlighted at World Expo in Dubai
The Puratos Space Bakery project is taking centre stage at the Belgian pavilion in Dubai, where the World Expo is taking place. This week is ...