Secretary of State Marie-Colline Leroy Honors African Troops at Memorial Ceremony in Brussels

2023-11-11 16:56:37

On behalf of the federal government, the Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, Marie-Colline Leroy, took part on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the ceremony at the Memorial in honor of the troops of the African campaigns, Square Riga in Brussels, on the occasion of the November 11 celebrations.

From 2:00 p.m., around forty people gathered in front of the Belgian monument dedicated to Congolese soldiers in Brussels, located on Place François Riga, in Schaerbeek. The Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, Marie-Colline Leroy (Ecolo), took part in the ceremony, during which she laid a wreath at the foot of the monument.

For the first time, a member of the federal government attended the commemorative gathering organized by the Bakushinta association, which works to promote and enhance Congolese cultures. “The Belgian government thus wants to commemorate the important role played by Congolese soldiers during the First World War, and thereby honor their dignity.“, announced Marie-Colline Leroy. “It is our duty to repair the missing pieces of history, accounting for all the victims of both world wars“.

During the First World War, Congolese forces expelled the Germans from Rwanda and Urundi to take Tabora and then Mahenge six months later. Belgium mobilized 300,000 men. Researchers estimate the human losses at 29,000 dead, including 1,900 Congolese soldiers and thousands of porters. Being here today is also “a sign of recognition for the work accomplished within the Special Commission on the Colonial Past, which pleaded for a federal presence at this commemoration“, supported the Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities.

The traditional military ceremony also took place this morning in front of the congress column, opposite the tomb of the unknown soldier in memory of the Belgians who died during the two wars.

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