Burundi has Demanded $43bn in Financial reparations together with a public apology from former colonisers Germany and Belgium as a way to atone for the list of crimes against their humanity.
Burundi has asked former colonizers Germany and Belgium to pay about $42.6 billion as reparative justice for when the two European nations controlled the east African territory that became a sovereign country.
Amongst others, “forced labour, cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment” such as whipping and prison – were inflicted on the population during the colonial period between 1896 and 1962.
The financial compensation is being requested by Burundi – by way of the president of the Senate, Reverien Ndikuriyo, from former colonisers Germany and Belgium.
The nation, now led by President Évariste Ndashyimiye, is also demanding that its stolen objects be returned their archives.
In 2018, the Burundian Senate appointed a group of experts including historians and anthropologists to assess the impact of colonialism on its soil. Aloys Batungwanayo, a Burundian Historian and Researcher at the University of Lausanne briefly explains the nation’s position, “The continuity of the state requires that the leaders of the Kingdom of Belgium today recognise and ask forgiveness for the crimes committed in Burundi, and there must be a restitution of the archives.”
Similar requests for reparations were already made in late July by the Burundian parliament at a “retreat” held in Gitega.
A centuries-old kingdom in the Great Lakes region, Burundi was an independent kingdom, until the beginning of the 20th century, when Germany colonised the region. After the First World War and Germany’s defeat, it ceded the territory to Belgium. Both Germans and Belgians ruled Burundi and Rwanda as a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi until its independence from Rwanda in July 1962.