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Colonialism Revamped in the Democratic Republic of Congo

April 21, 2024
African Arguments

140 years ago this November at the Berlin Conference, Belgium’s King Leopold was recognized as the sole owner of the Congo Free State, a territory including the entirety of today’s Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Leopold’s reign was marked by slavery, millions of deaths, and widespread atrocities committed during the first colonial exploitation of the territory’s exceptional wealth of natural resources.

64 years after its independence, the DRC remains plagued by various forms of colonialism and extraction, resulting in massive human suffering, land grabs, human rights abuses, hunger and poverty.