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Belgium's King sends 'regrets' to Congo for Leopold II atrocities -- but doesn't apologize

June 30, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A picture taken on June 10 2020 in Brussels shows the vandalized statue of King Leopold II of Belgium. - The statue was vandalized during a protest action amid discussions to remove all Leopold 2 statues due to the misdeeds in his personal property Congo. (Photo by THIERRY ROGE / various sources / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by THIERRY ROGE/Belga/AFP via Getty Images)

The King of Belgium has sent his "deepest regrets" to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the "suffering and humiliation" his nation inflicted while it colonized the region -- but stopped short of apologizing for his ancestor Leopold II's atrocities.

(CNN)The King of Belgium has sent his "deepest regrets" to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the "suffering and humiliation" his nation inflicted while it colonized the region -- but stopped short of apologizing for his ancestor Leopold II's atrocities.

On the 60th anniversary of the DRC's independence, King Philippe of Belgium wrote a letter to President FĂ©lix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo in which he admitted that "to further strengthen our ties and develop an even more fruitful friendship, we must be able to talk about our long common history in all truth and serenity. "

Philippe is a descendent of Leopold II, who owned what was then called Congo Free State between 1885 and 1908 and ruled its people brutally, exploiting their labor.

At the time of the independent state of Congo, acts of violence and cruelty were committed, which still weigh on our collective memory," the King wrote.

A reassessment of Belgium's colonial legacy has taken place in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter protests.

After 1908, the territory became a colony of the kingdom, known as Belgian Congo from 1908 to 1960, when it became independent.

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