Conference: "African Mothers and their Métis Children abducted by the Belgian Colonial Administration: What Progress Towards Justice and Reparations?

On 4 April 2024, AfaLab published a research report on the mobilization of Métis people born of Belgian colonization and launched our advocacy campaign in collaboration with a coalition of Métis associations based in Belgium, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burundi, with the aim of making their demands for justice and reparations and those of their families heard.

After the first event held in Geneva on 17 April 2024, during the third session of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent, our second conference entitled, “African Mothers and their Métis Children Abducted by the Belgian Colonial Administration: What Progress Towards Justice and Reparations?” was held in Brussels on 29 May 2024.

The second conference was organized with the Groupe de Recherche sur les Relations Ethniques, les Migrations et l'Égalité (GERME), in partnership with the Association des Enfants des Belges Laissés au Congo (AEBLC), the Association des Métis des Grands Lacs (AMGL Burundi) and the Collectif Métis.

Speakers

  • Geneviève Kaninda (African Futures Lab)
  • Assumani Budagwa (Researcher)
  • Rachel Kapombo (Association des Enfants des Belges Laissés au Congo)
  • Claudine Jadot (Collectif Métis - Belgium)
  • Kalvin Soiresse (Former President, Brussels Francophone Parliament - Ecolo)

Key points of the conference

A wide range of issues faced by African Mothers and Métis born of Belgian colonization in their quest for justice and reparation were explored during the speakers’ presentations. Here are the key conclusions:

➡️ The Invisibility of African Mothers

Burundian, Congolese, and Rwandan mothers (too often invisible), are also victims of the policy of abduction and forced placement of their Métis children. The absence of these mothers from current government initiatives is a major blind spot in Belgium’s reparations policy.

➡️ Implementation of the 2018 Métis Resolution

The text of the 2018 Métis Resolution applies to all Métis born of Belgian colonization, irrespective of whether they live in the Great Lakes or in Belgium. This must be reflected in a systematic consideration of the Métis who were abandoned in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

AfaLab is deeply grateful to the speakers for their generosity in addressing such a complex and painful issue. We will continue to amplify the voices of the Great Lakes Métis and African mothers alike to achieve justice and reparations.