Latest Democratic Republic of the Congo News

In this photo taken on Monday, June 29, 2020, clockwise from top left, Simone Ngalula, Monique Bitu Bingi, Lea Tavares Mujinga, Noelle Verbeeken and Marie-Jose Loshi pose for a group photo during an interview with The Associated Press in Brussels. Five women who were taken from their families as children in Belgian Congo and placed in a religious mission run by Catholic nuns have filed a lawsuit seeking reparations from Belgium. The women were among thousands of biracial children seized from their mothers and separated from their African roots by Belgian authorities ruling over the area from 1908-1960. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Women taken from African mothers by Belgium now want redress

Jul. 1, 2020 4:00 AM EDT

NEDER-OVER-HEEMBEEK, Belgium (AP) — Monique Bitu Bingi was only 4 years old when she was taken from her family in Belgian Congo and locked up in a religious mission run by Catholic nuns. Her friend Lea Tavares Mujinga was even younger the day her mother was forced to give her up: just a 2-year-old toddler....

A bust of Belgium's King Leopold II, is hoisted off of its plinth by a crane as it's removed from a park in Ghent, Belgium on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Protests sweeping the world after George Floyd's death in the U.S. have added fuel to a movement to confront Europe's role in the slave trade and its colonial past. Leopold II is increasingly seen as a stain on the nation where he reigned from 1865 to 1909 with some demonstrators calling for his removal from public view. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Belgium takes down statue, king regrets colonial violence

Jun. 30, 2020 2:46 PM EDT

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium confronted its colonial past and looked toward reconciliation Tuesday, with the king expressing regret for the violence carried out by the country when it ruled over what is now Congo. Later in the day, the bust of a former monarch held responsible for the death of millions of...

FILE - In this June 30, 1961 file photo, Congo celebrates the first anniversary of independence from Belgium with a large military parade in Leopoldville, the capital before it was later renamed in 1966 to Kinshasa, in Congo. On Tuesday, June 30, 2020 Congo is marking the 60th anniversary of achieving independence from the colonial rule of Belgium. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

Congo marks 60th anniversary of independence from Belgium

Jun. 30, 2020 9:37 AM EDT

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi vowed to root out the corruption and impunity that has hindered the country since its independence from Belgium as the nation marked its 60th anniversary amid a global reckoning over racial inequality. While the milestone was commemorated in...

In this photo taken on Monday, June 22, 2020, Eric Baranyanka, right, and his foster mother Emma Monsaert look at a photo of Eric as a young boy in Lembeek, Belgium. Baranyanka fled political persecution in the Belgian protectorate of Burundi in the 1960's, landing half a world away at a military airport in Brussels, before being fostered by Emma Monsaert and her husband Paul. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

In Belgian town, monuments expose a troubled colonial legacy

Jun. 27, 2020 3:17 AM EDT

HALLE, Belgium (AP) — For a long time, few people in the small Belgian town of Halle paid much attention to the monuments. They were just fixtures in a local park, tributes to great men of the past. But these are very different times, and yesterday’s heroes can be today’s racist villains. And...

A statue of Belgium's King Leopold II is smeared with red paint and graffiti in Brussels, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. With the protests sweeping the world in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, King Leopold II is now increasingly seen as a stain on the nation as demonstrators demand he disappear from public view and authorities take heed. Statues of the late king have defaced in at least a half dozen cities across Belgium. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Mixed-race women sue Belgium for crimes against humanity

Jun. 26, 2020 9:26 AM EDT

BRUSSELS (AP) — Five mixed-race women born in Congo when the country was under Belgian rule who were taken away from their Black mothers have filed a lawsuit for crimes against humanity targeting the Belgian state. With their claim, they hope Belgium will finally recognize its responsibility in the...

FILE - In this Thursday, June 30, 2005 file photo shot by AP contributing photographer John Bompengo,  a demonstrator leaping over a burning tire in the Victoire neighbourhood of the capital Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Relatives say longtime Associated Press contributor John Bompengo has died of COVID-19 in Congo's capital. Bompengo, who had covered his country's political turmoil over the course of 16 years, died Saturday, June 20, 2020 at a Kinshasa hospital. (AP Photo/John Bompengo, file)

Veteran AP video, photo-journalist in Congo dies of COVID-19

Jun. 22, 2020 3:57 AM EDT

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — John Bompengo, who covered Congo's political turmoil as a freelance photographer and video journalist for The Associated Press over the course of 16 years has died, relatives said Sunday. He was 52. The cause of death was complications due to the coronavirus. Bompengo had been...

Congo president's chief of staff guilty in corruption trial

Jun. 20, 2020 11:36 AM EDT

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A court in Congo on Saturday sentenced the president’s chief of staff, Vital Kamerhe, to 20 years of forced labor after he was found guilty of corruption and embezzlement of more than $50 million. His lawyers said they would appeal. Kamerhe, 61, has called the trial a...

UN experts: Gold from Congo going to armed groups, criminals

Jun. 19, 2020 10:20 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. experts say armed groups, criminal networks and some law enforcement agents in Congo are reaping vast sums of money from illegally exploiting gold and other natural resources and smuggling them to Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates. The experts...

FLE - In this April 9, 2015, file photo, cheering students surround a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes, as it is removed from the campus at the Cape Town University, Cape Town, South Africa. New campaigns in the U.S. and Europe to pull down monuments to slave traders and colonial rulers are now following Africa's lead. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam, File)

Pulling down statues of racists? Africa's done it for years

Jun. 12, 2020 3:01 AM EDT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Queen Victoria, Cecil Rhodes, King Leopold. Statues honoring these leaders of colonial rule have been pulled down over the years in Africa after countries won independence or newer generations said racist relics had to go. New campaigns in the U.S. and Europe are now following...

FILE - in this Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 file photo, Nobel Peace Prize 2018 winner Doctor Denis Mukwege of Congo arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, to meet France's President Emmanuel Macron. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege has stepped down Wednesday, June 10, 2020 from a COVID-19 task force in eastern Congo, saying his hospital needs to focus on treating coronavirus patients because testing delays and other problems have allowed the crisis to deepen. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

Congo doctor quits COVID-19 task force, notes testing delays

Jun. 11, 2020 1:48 PM EDT

BENI, Congo (AP) — Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege has stepped down from a COVID-19 task force in eastern Congo, saying his hospital needs to focus on treating coronavirus patients because testing delays and other problems have allowed the crisis to deepen. In announcing his resignation...