King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium arrived in Congo-Kinshasa on Wednesday (June 17) to take part in the 10th anniversary Independence celebrations.
King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium arrived in Congo-Kinshasa on Wednesday (June 17) to take part in the 10th anniversary Independence celebrations. The Royal couple will spend two-weeks in the country before leaving for Rwanda and Burundi.
The King will be guest of honour at the tenth anniversary celebrations on June 30 when he will review the traditional march-past down the tree-lined boulevard of Kinshasa, the capital. It is the King's first visit to Congo-Kinshasa since 1960 when the country became independent.
Before the celebrations, the Royal couple will tour the country for ten days, taking in all the main cities and covering many thousands of miles by car, aircraft and boat.
The tour begins on Friday and will include visits to Diamond and Copper mines, a day in the Albert National Park in the high country in the east, and a three-day cruise down the Congo river.
King Baudouin and President Mobutu will sign a treaty of friendship between the two countries at the end of the visit on July 1.
The King and Queen were given a huge welcome by large cheering crowds as they drove from the airport to a reception in the capital.
Congo-Kinshasa was engulfed in five years of civil war involving both mercenaries and Belgian troops before General Mobutu came to power in 1965.