The Belgian monarch, King Philippe, has called on the international community to resolve the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The eastern DR Congo has witnessed violence orchestrated by armed local and foreign groups, mainly the M23 rebels.
King Philippe spoke in the Belgian capital, Brussels, on Thursday, July 21, during the country’s national day celebration.
“Let us together work to help in the progress towards more security, justice and democracy,” the monarch said.
“With our cooperation towards development, our diplomacy and our army, which is doing an excellent job, let us work with the international community towards the resolution of this very murderous conflict which is happening in eastern Congo.”
DR Congo’s national army, FARDC, is fighting on various fronts simultaneously against opposing local and foreign forces.
According to a report by the Study Group on Congo, more than 130 armed groups are present in the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu, which have been fighting to control mineral resources in the two areas.
King Philippe was gladdened by the fact that “we have turned an important page in our common history with DR Congo”, adding, “Things have been said, gestured have been made. Having a relaxed look at our common past allows us to construct future projects together. The Congolese people have big expectations vis-à-vis our country”.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited the DR Congo last month, marking a significant turning point in the two countries’ history.
Though King Philippe did not officially apologise for the heinous crimes committed by his country in DR Congo, Kinshasa considered the visit a diplomatic success. Moreover, it indicated its willingness to enhance bilateral cooperation with Belgium.
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