Dutch king expected to apologise for slavery

On Saturday, King Willem-Alexander is widely anticipated to issue a royal apology for the Netherlands’ role in slavery during an event commemorating 150 years since slaves were emancipated in former colonies.

Thousands of descendants of slaves from Suriname and the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao will join the “Keti Koti” (“breaking the chains” in Surinamese) celebrations in Amsterdam.

According to Dutch media, the king is likely to apologize on behalf of the royal family, following an official government apology in December.

Willem-Alexander has not confirmed that he will apologize for a transaction that experts think brought huge riches to his forefathers in the House of Orange.

“I think we will have to wait until July 1,” the Dutch monarch told journalists when asked on a recent state visit to Belgium whether he would apologise at the ceremony.

“I clearly understand peoples’ wishes that I’ll do it but I’m asking you to wait until then.”

The address will be carried live on national television, and Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be in attendance at the celebration in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark.

Slave descendants have asked the king to utilize the occasion to apologize.

“That is important, especially because the Afro-Dutch community considers it important,” Linda Nooitmeer, chairman of the National Institute of Dutch Slavery History and Legacy, told public broadcaster NOS.

“It is important for processing the history of slavery.”

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
No Comments