Sparks fly between Congo and Belgium

22nd October 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 October 2204, BRUSSELS – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has recalled its ambassador to Belgium amid anger over remarks made by Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht during his visit there last week.

22 October 2204

BRUSSELS – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has recalled its ambassador to Belgium amid anger over remarks made by Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht during his visit there last week.

On his first foreign visit since becoming foreign minister in July, De Gucht told Kinshasa officials that there was “no real government” in the DRC while praising leaders in neighbouring Rwanda.

Despite the fact that De Gucht confirmed Africa as a Belgian foreign policy priority, his remarks sparked widespread anger and accusations of racism and colonialist sympathies.

DRC Information Minister Henri Mova Sakanyi  said Du Gucht's comments showed he was, "completely ignorant of the basic rules of diplomacy".

He added that De Gucht's remarks bordered on "racism and nostalgia for colonialism."
 
"It's Tintin in the Congo all over again," he went on, referring to the controversial comic book by famous Belgian cartoon artist Herge, which critics say used crude stereotypes to depict African people.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject : Belgian news

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