Black People : Belgium Prime Minister Apologizes To African Nations For Kidnapping And Deporting Children


Permanent Black Man
May 16, 2002
Bronzeville USA
Staying Alive
Belgium Prime Minister Apologizes To African Nations For The Colonial Practice Of Kidnapping And Deporting Mixed-Race Children

Belgium's prime minister apologized to Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda for the pain its colonization inflicted upon families with mixed-race children during its colonial rule.
The New York Times reports the apology took place on Thursday during a Parliament session, becoming the first time the country acknowledged its violent history toward African countries.
The country historically colonized the African nations for eight decades. Under the colonial rule of Belgium, segregation was law. The Roman Catholic Church forbade interracial relationships and banned interracial marriage.
Racist policies forced the disjunction of African families with mixed-race children, or "métis," in which officials kidnapped, deported and forced the adoption of the children. Historians say the kids were taken from their homes and placed in Catholic orphanages and schools. Métis offspring were also segregated from other Africans, undoing most of their traditional upbringings.
It is estimated that 10,000 to 20,000 children suffered this loss. Most of the familial ties were broken forever with children lacking birth certificates or any trace of heritage even decades after the practice ended. The gruesome system has continued to affect African families and displaced persons to present-day.
Families and children have been waiting for quite some time for the apology. As OkayAfrica reports, Burundi, the DRC and Rwanda became independent nearly six decades ago following Belgium's colonization in the early 1900s.
...The apology, which was unanimously adopted into Parliament last year, comes following a reemergence of young African activists demanding the European country take accountability for its violent history within its borders.
The Catholic Church apologized in 2017 for its part in the kidnapping and dismantling of the métis families, writing, “Many never knew their mother or their father, and many mothers never saw their children again. For a long time, they couldn’t fully exercise their civic rights, and a large number later found itself on the margins of Belgian society in insecurity and hardship.”
“We present our apologies to those people for the part taken by the Catholic Church in these deeds," the letter read.
In February 2002, Belgium apologized for assisting in the assassination of Congo's first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in an attempt to regain control over the country's resources. The New York Times reports Congo, 75 times larger than Belgium, was desired because of the riches of the country's vast land.
Prime Minister Michel has offered governmental support from Belgium to all persons in need of resources to conduct research and access archives that may assist them in finding more about their lost families, as well as to those who would like to seek Belgian citizenship officially.
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