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Mixed race Belgian women take former colonial power to court

The Five biracial women suing the Belgium state   -  
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Francisco Seco/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


Five mixed race women born in Congo while under Belgian rule are taking the former colonial power to court.

The women accuse the Belgian state of crimes against Humanity claiming they were taken away from their black mothers and separated from their African roots.

"The problem was also that we were considered children of the state. It was not the mother who exercised power, it was the state that was allowed to exercise power. And in that sense they were free to do as they pleased", explains Jaqui Goegebeur, one of the five mixed race women.

In 2019 the Belgian government issued an apology for the role played by the state in taking thousands of young children away from their African mothers.

The apology was issued by the then prime minister Charles Michel.

"On behalf of the Belgian federal government I apologise to the mixed-race of Belgian colonial origin and their families for the injustice and their suffering", said the former prime minister.

The five women, all born between 1945 and 1950, filed their lawsuit last year amid growing demands that Belgium reassess its colonial past.

Last year for the first time in the country's history the Belgian King expressed regret for the violence exercised by the former colonial power.

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