Rwanda seeks repatriation of King Musinga body from Belgium

On 18 December 2017 at 10:21

Ambassador of Rwanda in Belgium, Amandin Rugira has said both countries will start discussions in the near future on the repatriation of the body of Rwandan King Yuhi V Musinga.

Speaking to IGIHE last week, Amb Rugira said the efforts intend to give the King a decent burial in Rwanda.

“Discussions are yet to start but we are preparing to open them in the near future as they don’t have more right than us on the body. He was the king of Rwanda and his body should be in Rwanda. I think they will not resist,” Rugira said.

However, Rugira did not reveal when discussions are set to start, saying he will first consult with Rwandan institutions for a common understanding about what to take into discussions.

Musinga was the son of Kigeli IV Rwabugiri and the father of two Rwanda’s kings, Mutara III Rudahigwa and Kigeli V Ndahindurwa.

Musinga died from Moba in the Democratic Republic of Congo and his body was taken to Belgium by colonialists. Musinga reigned in Rwanda from 1896 to 1931.

Recently, the senate urged the government to finds ways of returning to Rwanda archives and other historical artifacts.

Senator Jeanne d’Arc Gakuba said that Musinga’s body has a great role in Rwandan history among other historical objects that should be preserved. She added that it should be repatriated.

“We have many archives and history artifacts abroad. Why don’t we bring them back to Rwanda? As you know, the body of King Musinga is still in Belgium, why so? He was the King of Rwandans, we have the right to ask for his body,” she said.

It is said that there are over 1000 skulls of Rwandans that were also taken to Belgium during the colonial period. The two-year research was launched to identify their real origin.

Ambassador of Rwanda in Belgium, Amandin Rugira