By Spy Uganda
European colonists never stop hiding their dark and evil past. However, one of their notorious leaders known as the “Butcher King Leopold” was so cruel that even other white slavemasters ‘shame on him’.
The most ironic thing is that Congo was named as ” Congo Free States” in his days. However, the only freedom Conglese got was the ‘freedom’ of being slaughtered like chicken.
It is estimated that more than 10 million Congo people were killed under his rule.
Despite being one of the richest countries in Europe, much of Belgium’s wealth was plundered through exploitation mother Africa, especially Congo.
Under Leopold’s brutal rule, millions of Congolese were mutilated, killed or died from disease during his rule. He ran the Republic of Congo using black people as his running dogs. Failure to meet rubber collection quotas was punishable by death.
The running dogs were required to provide the hand of their victims as proof when they had shot and killed someone. The rubber quotas were in part paid off in chopped-off hands and enslaved blacks were forced to hold their body parts, see below:
See below: A father stares at the hand and foot (noted in red circle)of his five-year-old daughter, severed as a punishment for having harvested too little rubber.
There are no exact official numbers on how many black people were killed.
Congo finally gained independence in 1960. But the colonial era set the stage for the civil war and the dictatorship that followed for many years.
Congo’s first prime minister, also a great African patriot, Patrice Lumumba, was murdered and the nation fell in hands of western-backed dictator Mobuto.
In April 2019, Belgium finally bowed down and apologized for the kidnapping, segregation, deportation and forced adoption of thousands of children born to biracial couples during its colonial rule of Burundi, Congo and Rwanda. It was the first time Belgium publicly recognized responsibility.
Who Is King Leopold?
Leopold II, 9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was the second King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909 and, through his own efforts, the owner and absolute ruler of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908.
Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch. He died without surviving legitimate sons. The current Belgian king descends from his nephew and successor, Albert I.
Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf. He used Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations of Europe authorized his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improve the lives of the native inhabitants. Leopold ignored these conditions and ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal gain. He extracted a fortune from the territory, initially by the collection of ivory, and after a rise in the price of natural rubber in the 1890s, by forced labour from the native population to harvest and process rubber.
Leopold’s administration of the Congo was characterised by atrocities, including torture and murder, resulting from notorious systematic brutality. The hands of men, women, and children were amputated when the quota of rubber was not met. Millions of the Congolese people died: modern estimates range from 1 million to 15 million deaths, with a consensus growing around 10 million. Colonial accounts placed much more stress on Leopold’s modernizing changes in the Congo.
These and other facts were established at the time by the 1904 Casement Report and by eyewitness testimony and on-site inspection by an international Commission of Inquiry. Some historians argue against this figure, citing the absence of reliable censuses, the enormous mortality of diseases such as smallpox or African trypanosomiasis, and the fact that there were only 175 administrative agents in charge of rubber exploitation.
In 1908, the reports of deaths and abuse and pressure from the Congo Reform Association and other international groups induced the Belgian government to take over the administration of the Congo from Leopold as a new territory, Belgian Congo.