So that colonialisms of yesterday and today are not repeated tomorrow

Newsletter 07/22 - Reparations to the Democratic Republic of Congo

On July 17, 2020, following the fall of colonial symbols, the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium approved the establishment of a Special Parliamentary Commission on the Belgian Colonial Past which presented on 27 October 2021 the First Experts' Report, with a thorough examination of the Belgian colonial past and the recommendation of different forms of reparation. The Commission's mandate ends in December 2022, but Belgian civil society is asking for an extension so that the final report paves the way for a holistic and long-term engagement on Belgium's colonial past.

On June 8, 2022 the King of Belgium Philippe in his speech in Kinshasa during the State visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo reaffirms his deepest regret for the wounds of the colonial past, already expressed on June 30, 2020 in his letter of congratulation for the sixtieth anniversary of the independence of Congo. So still no excuses, as well as the kakuungu mask of the colonial era now exhibited at the Kinshasa National Museum has been returned as a long-term loan and not definitively.

On June 20, 2022 the Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo returns to the family the remains of the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo Patrice Lumumba, stolen by a Belgian officer while he was making his corpse disappear by dissolving it in acid. The mortal remains of Patrice Lumumba are buried with an impressive ceremony in the presence of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Félix Tshisekedi in the mausoleum dedicated to him in Kinshasa.

Colonialism Reparation asks that Belgium present apologies and reparations for the colonial period to the Democratic Republic of Congo finally repairing the crimes committed during one of the most brutal colonizations in history, in a similar way to the reparations recognized by the International Court of Justice for violations of human rights and the exploitation of natural resources by Uganda.

Newsletter 05/22 - Caribbean asks for reparations

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic on September 26, 2020 during the General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said that [...] the international campaign for reparatory justice, widely promoted by governments across our Caribbean Community and by social activists within the industrialized metropoles, must form part of any serious efforts to achieve the sustainable development agenda […].

On November 3, 2020 during the "Peacebuilding and sustaining peace" debate organized by the United Nations Security Council the President of the "CARICOM Reparations Commission" Hilary Beckles [...] called on the Council to acknowledge the global reparatory movement, adding that while most crimes against humanity were committed in past, the current century will be one of peace and justice […].

On September 7, 2021 the first CARICOM - Africa summit was held during which [...] the Heads of State and Government agreed to participate fully in the High Level meeting of the UN General Assembly later this month to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, and to jointly use that event to advance the claim for reparations within the processes of the United Nations […].

On November 30, 2021 the transition of Barbados to a republic by removing Elizabeth II as Head of State after nearly four hundred years of British colonization revived calls for reparations, while on January 25, 2022 the President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro created the Presidential Commission for Historical Truth, Justice and Reparation of Colonial Rule and its Consequences in Venezuela. In March and April 2022 the visits of the heirs to the throne were the subject of protests and requests for reparations in Belize, Jamaica, Bahamas, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia.

Colonialism Reparation supports the request of the members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for reparations for the genocide of the native people and the slavery and calls on the former colonizers (United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark etc.) to apologize and pay compensations for the colonial period without being forced to appear before a court.

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