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DRC’s president to host Belgian king

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DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi will host King Philippe of Belgium in June.

This is the first visit by the Belgian King to the former colony since the start of his reign in 2013.

The last time a Belgian king visited the country was in 2010 when President Joseph Kabila hosted King Albert II to mark the 50th anniversary of independence.

Esmeralda of Belgium, Leopold III’s youngest daughter and aunt of the current King Philippe, lives in London and is an activist for the environment and Native Americans’ rights.

“Belgium has a heavy colonial past, as do most European countries. But ours in particular is very painful, and I think it is important to recognise that as a Belgian, as a member of the Royal Family. The apology is important because afterwards you can start again on a balanced relationship. Re-establish an important conversation, build bridges”, said Esmeralda, Princess of Belgium.

To mark 60 years of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the city of Ghent in Belgium is organising an official ceremony where the statue of the former king Leopold II will be removed from public display.