Belgian king expresses regret for violence in colonial rule

BRUSSELS (AP) — For the first time in Belgium’s history, a reigning king has expressed regret for the violence carried out by the former colonial power when it ruled over what is now Congo. In a letter to the Congolese president, Felix Tshisekedi, published Tuesday — the 60th anniversary of the African country’s independence — Belgium’s King Philippe conveyed his “deepest regrets” for the “acts of violence and cruelty” and the “suffering and humiliation” inflicted on Belgian Congo. Philippe’s letter was sent amid growing demands that Belgium reassess its colonial past. A bust of King Leopold II is expected to be taken down from display Tuesday in the city of Ghent.

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