VISNEWS toured Leopoldville Feb 1 and 2, jungle city of the Belgian Congo where Africans and police last month were in bloody clash.
VISNEWS toured Leopoldville Feb 1 and 2, jungle city of the Belgian Congo where Africans and police last month were in bloody clash. After the 34 death and the scores of
injured and King Baudoiuin's freedom pledge, calm returned. It was a calm
supported by tense patrolling.
SYNOPSIS: Overtowering the city is the monument to Stanley-the first man to
really explore the Congo area...
... a man who was friend of white and black.
Trade along the mighty River Congo flourishes as far as the rapids below the
city - it is the main path of commerce.
The worst affected area in the rioting was at the edge of the European section
with its Government offices and commercial buildings.
This has been a particularly troublesome zone bordering on the African quarter
Gradually the strict emergency regulations are being relaxed but there's an
uneasy peace ...
... and the police stage shows of strength, with bands and marching columns.
Soon there will be more political freedom for the Africans. Local elections,
King Baudouin said in his pledge after the riots, will be held for African
councillors in towns and most rural areas by the end of 1959 and they will elect
in 1960 provincial councils to form the framework of a chamber of
African soldiers constantly patrol on foot and in jeeps in this area where many
thousands of workless Africans flock from other parts of recession-hit Congo.
Tension in this and other African quarters of the city is still great.
Much had been accomplished quietly before the social unrest erupted into
The new houses for Africans are small compared with the palatial European homes
- high wide and handsome apartment blocks and residences - and thought thousands
of them have been built they have not mitigated the Africans' political
hostility towards Belgium.
A curfew is imposed on Africans visiting this area - from 11pm to 6.30 am.
Leopoldville has no colour bar; though the Africans live in their own districts
they eat, shop and travel where they wish.
One day there will be no curfews ...
... the King's speech has been widely applauded as a means of easing a long-born
racial tension. He said peace, prosperity and independence will come without
damaging delays - but also without undue haste.