Belgian PM Criticizes UN Report on Racism in Belgium

A male missionary from the Congo Balolo Mission holds the arm of a Congolese man in the Congo Free State. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A male missionary from the Congo Balolo Mission holds the arm of a Congolese man in the Congo Free State. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BRUSSELS — Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says he is baffled by a preliminary U.N. report that said racial discrimination against Africans “is endemic” in Belgium’s institutions and that the nation needs to apologize for the crimes committed during its colonization of Congo.

He says Belgium will await the full U.N. expert report in September but says the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent has produced “a very strange report.”

Belgium’s actions in Congo have long been criticized as one of the worst examples of colonial abuse. Some experts say King Leopold reigned over the mass deaths of millions of Congolese.

But Michel told the VRT network that the story of colonialism “is not only about Belgium, but also about many other European nations.”