Hundreds protest Congolese president’s first official visit to Belgium
Share article:
Share article:

Hundreds protest Congolese president’s first official visit to Belgium

Credit: © Belga

Day one of the Congolese president’s first official visit in the country saw hundreds show up at the foreign affairs ministry to protest Belgium’s support of a president they see as illegitimate.

Between 100 and 150 demonstrators marched up to Brussels’ Egmont palace, which houses the foreign affairs ministry, booing and chanting out a list of accusations against president Félix Tshisekedi.

Banging on pans and wrapped in the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the protesters carried banners and protests signs calling Tshisekedi a “pseudo-president,” an “usurper” and a “national shame,” according to the Belga news agency.

Tuesday’s protest against the leader’s narrow presidential victory draws further attention to Tshisekedi’s symbolic four-day visit to Belgium, which marks his first visit to continental Europe since he was elected to power in December.

The official trip could also signal a shift in the country’s foreign policy, as Tshisekedi is the first Congolese president to visit Belgium since 2007.

The protesters called out Belgian leaders for recognising Tshisekedi as DRC’s president, singling out the outgoing minister of foreign affairs, Didier Reynders, who they labelled a “collaborationist.”

Belgian and Congolese NGOs called on Belgian leaders to use Tshisekedi’s visit to push for human rights and rule of law reforms in the country.

“Belgium can play a role with its Congolese partners by supporting institutional reforms and the fight against impunity and corruption,” and by supporting human rights, the Brussels-based Justice & Peace NGO said.

The Congolese president is next expected to meet with Belgian business representatives, with a visit to the Port of Antwerp slated for Wednesday.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
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 ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
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 ...