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Congo marks 60th anniversary of independence from Belgium

Congo is marking its 60th anniversary of independence from Belgium amid a world reckoning over racial inequality

By

JEAN-YVES KAMALE Connected Press

June 30, 2020, 1: 37 PM

3 min read

KINSHASA, Congo —
Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi vowed to root out the corruption and impunity that has hindered the country since its independence from Belgium because the nation marked its 60th anniversary amid a world reckoning over racial inequality.

Whereas the milestone used to be commemorated in Belgium with gestures of atonement, Congolese reflected on the struggles which own engulfed the nation in the a long time since independence and the technique to pass forward.

Among the statues being removed world huge as nations confront legacies of slavery and colonialism used to be one being taken down Tuesday in Belgium of King Leopold II, Congo’s brutal colonial ruler.

A letter sent to Congo’s current president stopped wanting an official apology, but Belgium’s King Philippe conveyed his “deepest regrets” for the “acts of violence and cruelty” and the “struggling and humiliation” inflicted at some level of the colonial generation.

The huge, mineral-rich country in Central Africa suffered a long time of oppression after it used to be annexed by Belgium in 1908. After independence in 1960, Congo quickly fell beneath the repressive rule of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko who ruled for 32 years.

The principle leader after Mobutu’s death used to be assassinated, and his son Joseph Kabila then took over and headed the country for 18 years.

Tshisekedi, whose father led Congo’s very most racy opposition occasion till his death, took office final year but handiest after lengthy-delayed elections had been ultimately held. In a televised speech tiring Monday, Tshisekedi pledged to root out impunity so as that the country would possibly well well additionally pass forward.

“From independence to the expose day, the necessary function of our political policy has been to dilute effectivity, to dilute responsibility and ultimately to invent disservice,” the president acknowledged.

On story of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday’s milestone took command with out the fanfare and public commemorations that marked the 50th anniversary a decade earlier in Kinshasa. Congolese, though, aloof dilapidated the occasion to mirror on the challenges facing the country.

“Sixty years after independence, will we Congolese be good ample with our country? I don’t narrate so,” political researcher Paulin Mbenza knowledgeable The Connected Press.

“Congo can upward push from its ashes … but this depends on the need of the politicians because they’re extra serious about the non-public ardour than the frequent ardour,” he acknowledged.

That criticism used to be echoed by Tapie Lutunu, a political analyst in Kinshasa.

“Education, employment, effectively being, infrastructure — nothing works attributable to the melancholy administration and mediocrity of the Congolese political class,” Lutunu acknowledged. “We would like a unique class of elites motivated by love of their country.”


ABC News


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