5 April 2019

Congo-Kinshasa: Belgium Apologises for Colonial-Era Abduction of Children from Africa

Photo: U.S. Department of State/Wikimedia Commons
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in 2016.

Cape Town — Belgium has apologised for kidnapping thousands of mixed-race children from Africa between 1959 and 1962, Reuters reports.

The BBC reports that the children were born to mixed-race couples during colonial rule in Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda.

The apology was the first time Belgium has officially acknowledged responsibility for the policy of segregation under which "metis" children were abducted from Congo and put in schools and orphanages in Belgium run by the Catholic Church, Reuters says.

"In the name of the federal government, I present my apologies to the metis of the Belgian colonial era and their families for the injustices and the sufferings they have endured," Prime Minister Charles Michel is quoted as telling Parliament as dozens of former abductees looked on.

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