Burundi Joins Congo To Demand $43 Billion In Reparations From Belgium For Its Colonization

by Duke Magazine

The Black Lives Matter resurgence across the world has ignited itching conversations surrounding the reckoning of colonization issues with the fates of Black people in the present time.  Recently, Burundi, a country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge, has spoken up against past crimes committed by Belgium and Germany during colonization. The country lent its voices to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s to demand $42.6 billion in reparations from the long-term effects of the imperial rule and slavery of their respective countries.

Earlier this year, the Congolese minister, Andre Lite of Human, went public about a call to provide compensation for the crimes committed against the Congolese people under Europe’s reign. The announcement came after Belgian King Philippe offered his regret over the nation’s history in a speech in June at the wake of the heightened protests sparked over the death of George Floyd.

“The regrets of certain Belgian officials will never be enough in the face of their obligation to grant reparations to the victims of colonization and their relatives,” the minister told Anadolu Agency. “It is contradictory or illogical to claim to be part of the respectful state and pretend not to know anything about serious crimes that have been committed in the past.”

“Although the horizon seems to be getting darker, after so many years of both denial of truth and the reparations to which our country is entitled from Belgium, our determination to achieve it remains intact,”

According to Bloomberg News, the East African nation recently corroborated Congo’s demand from Germany and Belgium to provide compensation for their colonial history. The country is also requesting the European nations to give back archival material and objects expropriated between 1899 and 1962. Germany colonized Burundi in 1890, and was  taken over by Belgium after their defeat in World War II until its independence in 1962.

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