The spoils of modern day Belgium owes much to the people of the Congo River Basin.
King Leopold II left arguably the largest and most horrid legacy While the Great Powers competed for territory elsewhere, the king of one of Europe's smallest countries carved his own private colony out of km2 of Central African rainforest. He claimed he was doing it to protect the "natives" from Arab slavers, and to open the heart of Africa to Christian missionaries, and Western capitalists.
Torment and rape He turned his "Congo Free State" into a massive labour camp, made a fortune for himself from the harvest of its wild rubber, and contributed in a large way to the death of perhaps 10 million innocent people.
I was so moved, Your Excellency, by the people's stories that I took the liberty of promising them that in future you will only kill Leopolds congo for crimes they commit John Harris Missionary in Baringa What is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo has clearly never recovered.
Meanwhile Congo's Leopolds congo have never moved away from the role allocated to them by Leopold - as a force to coerce, torment and rape an unarmed civilian population.
Men who failed to bring enough rubber for agents were killed The film opens with the shocking images of some of Leopold's victims - children and adults whose right hands had been hacked off by his agents. They needed these to prove to their superiors that they had not been "wasting" their bullets on animals.
This rule was seldom observed as soldiers kept shooting monkeys and then later chopping off human hands to provide their alibis. He has an actor play the bearded, heavily-set Leopold, fidgeting nervously as damning testimonies are read out, compiled by the foreign correspondents of the day, the missionaries.
John Harris of Baringa, for example, was so shocked by what he had come across that he felt moved to write a letter to Leopold's chief agent in the Congo. The abject misery and utter abandon is positively indescribable. I was so moved, Your Excellency, by the people's stories that I took the liberty of promising them that in future you will only kill them for crimes they commit.
We see a village burnt without warning and its people rounded up; its men sent off into the forests, and its women tied up as hostages and helpless targets of abuse until their husbands return with enough wild rubber to satisfy the agent.
This, we are told, was the "moment of truth" for the whole community. If the men did not bring back enough and the agent lost his commission, he would order the deaths of everyone.
Children and adults had their hands chopped off There is no doubt that Congo's history, and White King, Red Rubber, Black Death are almost too upsetting to bear, however Leopold did leave, albeit unwittingly, one positive legacy - the birth of modern humanitarianism.
The campaign to reveal the truth behind Leopold's "secret society of murderers," led by diplomat Roger Casement, and a former shipping clerk ED Morel, became the first mass human rights movement.Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad.
And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo—too Reviews: King Leopold II of Belgium was responsible for the deaths and mutilation of 10 million Congolese Africans during the late ’s.
The spoils of modern day Belgium owes much to the people of the. The Butcher of Congo By Baffour Ankomah, New African, October Only 90 years ago, the agents of King Leopold II of Belgium massacred 10 million Africans in the Congo.
King Leopold's legacy of DR Congo violence. Mark Dummett Former BBC Kinshasa correspondent Of the Europeans who scrambled for control of Africa at the end of the 19th century, Belgium's King Leopold II left arguably the largest and most horrid legacy of all.
King Leopold II .
Leopold hired the famous Welsh explorer Henry Morton Stanley to serve as the head of the spear in the Congo.
Back in , Stanley had made a name for himself by setting out to find the long lost explorer David Livingstone. King Leopold II of Belgium was responsible for the deaths and mutilation of 10 million Congolese Africans during the late ’s.
The spoils of modern day Belgium owes much to the people of the.