Protesters in Belgium have forced the Belgian Authorities to remove the statue of Colonial Genocideur, Leopold II in Antwerp. Crowds taking part in global protests in Belgium against racism, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, have repeatedly targeted the statue.

The statue of Genocideur Leopold II in Antwerp was set on fire last week. Another statue of Leopold in the city of Ghent was covered in red paint this week. Thousand have protested and signed a Petition, by a group called Reparons l’Histoire, calling for the removal of Leopold’s statues from public spaces in Belgium. By Tuesday, the petition had amassed more than 65000 signatures with most of the signatories coming from Belgium.

On Tuesday, the authorities in Antwerp bowed to the demand and removed a 150-year-old of the Colonial Genocide Perpetrator from a public square in Antwerp

Following the Belgian petition, a Pan-African movement called “Africa Economic Liberation Movement” has a launched a campaign titled “Africa Clean Up” (#AfricaCleanUp). Speaking to Pan-Africa24, the coordinator, Abong Nico said: “The initiative is aimed at cleaning away colonial symbols from African public places including monuments, statues and names of public facilities.” He added that African needs to start developing new relationships with the West and especially former colonial powers that are based on mutual respect and benefit. He noted that these new relationships can not be built on colonial monuments and structures with colonial symbols.

“We are not advocating violence. We will identify such symbols and work with organisation operating at local, national and regional levels to petition the relevant authorities to remove the identified symbols” Mr Abong added.

On Sunday. a protest against racism in Brussels drew more than 10,000 people. Some of the protesters climbed on a statue of Leopold and flew a giant flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo, chanting “murderer” and “reparations.”

King Leopold II was king of Belgium from 1865 to 1909. During his reign, he seized “Congo Free State” (today known as Democratic Republic of the Congo – DRC, Rwanda and Burundi). He ran it as a personal domain and implemented a brutal exploitative regime that led to the death and maiming of millions.

During his 23-years colonisation of Congo Leopold oversaw the systematic massacre of over 10 million Congolese, now referred to as one of the worse genocides in human history. He ordered his administrator and soldiers to chop off the hands and feet of Congolese

A Congolese father looks at the chopped off hand and foot of his 5-years-old daughter
Leopold used a private mercenary force, Force Publique to massacre and maim Congolese children
British missionaries pose for picture with men holding hands severed from victims Bolenge and Lingomo by ABIR militiamen, 1904.
Mass hanging of Congolese by Belgian forces under King Leopold II
Author: Abong Nico - Editor-In-Chief


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