Leopold II was the second King of the Belgians, and is chiefly remembered for the founding and exploitation of the Congo Free State as a private venture.Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf.He ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal enrichment. He used great sums of the money from this exploitation for public and private construction projects in Belgium during this period. He donated the private buildings to the state before his death, to preserve them for Belgium.King Leopold II of Belgium was responsible for the deaths and mutilation of 10 million Congolese Africans during the late 1800’s.
In 1876, Leopold formed the philanthropic organisation “Association Internationale Africaine“ (International African Association) and became its single shareholder. Under the guise of missionary work and westernisation of African peoples, Leopold II used the International African Association to further his ambitions of empire building in the hope if bringing international prestige to relatively small Belgium. In reality, the International African Association was a vehicle to enslave the people of the Congo River Basin and enrich Leopold II.
Leopold used a private mercenary force, Force Publique (FP), to do his terrorising and killing. White Officers commanded black soldiers many of whom were cannibals from tribes in the upper Congo and others had been kidnapped as children during raids on surrounding villages and raised in missionaries.
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