Thomas Dermine: “An important page is changing relations between Belgium and DRC”

“An important page has been opened,” Mr. Dermine. “To restore the works stolen during the colonial period, the remains of Patrice Lumumba or the commission of inquiry into Parliament. There is a form of introspection that shows that Belgium is not afraid to look at this colonial past, including its gray areas.recognized in King Philippe’s very important speech in Kinshasa.But as the Congolese President described, today we must look to the future, build the future through strong relationships in trade, cooperation in technical development and the role that Belgium can play in the extreme tension. security context in eastern Congo. “

For the Secretary of State, the question of a possible apology to sovereignty is important, but not less important. “What we see here is that these semantic questions are small compared to the way in which we are building the future of the youth of this country, with the necessities of daily life”, he commented.

Thomas Dermine, who accompanied the royal couple from Kinshasa to Bukavu via Lubumbashi, noticed the “strange connection of the Congo to Belgium”. “We have seen demonstrations along the streets, in stadiums, universities … Wherever the King goes, he is accompanied by a very large movement. It shows that this feeling, which is the result of our common past, there is again. This should inspire us to continue this privileged relationship “, he recommended.

“Congo is and will remain the first beneficiary of Belgian aid”, the Secretary of State assured. However, we must not “separate” the progress that needs to be made in the DRC, in terms of governance, business climate, legal security or combating the informal economy. And it is, “to offer opportunities for the freedom of young Congolese”.

In terms of security, the royal couple’s visit to the east of the country, in the current security context, shows that this question is “at the heart of Belgium’s concerns”, he said.

The main aspect of the visit was in the ability of Mr. Dermine is donating a mask to the National Museum of Kinshasa. “This is a first step, in terms of repatriation, which aims to show all the seriousness in Belgium on this issue”, he welcomed.

Thirty, the Secretary of State believes “generations have a role to play” in heating up Belgian-Congolese relations. “The greater the temporal distance from colonization, the more critical it is, there is little emotional connection. Only one minister in the current government barely knows the time of colonization. On the part of Congolese, President Tshisekedi was born after independence. Most of our interlocutors were born in the 70s or 80s, so they have a completely different relationship with Belgium than those who knew it in the colonial era. “

“The future we have in us is more important than the past,” Congolese government spokesman Patrick Muyaya confirmed. “Belgium is special to us, it’s our uncles who co-created Congo, the godfather we restored. It’s our gateway to international diplomacy, so we have to have relationships that are less divided than before. But Congo’s needs are so great, cooperation cannot solve all our problems.

The Congolese minister also said that “a huge step has been taken with the King’s heavy words, the presentation of the mask or even the decoration of Corporal Kunyuku.”

In a few days, the return of Lumumba’s relics, “this is the dedication” will come to an end in a series of four months during which “more things have happened than in the last 10 years. “, encouraged M .Muyaya. “On the visit, it heals wounds while opening up new perspectives for the future.”

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