Verquin (© 2019 Afriquinfos) – At the initiative of the Congolese authorities and the Association of Mayors of the Pas-de-Calais, a stele of 3.50 m was unveiled Friday, November 15 in Verquin in memory of African soldiers who have fought under the French knights during the 2nd world war.
The project, financed and co-financed by the Republic of Congo and the Association of Mayors of Pas-de-Calais ended Friday with a ceremony to unveil a metal stele of 3.50 m height and 25 m², cut laser in three parts, represents General de Gaulle reviewing African troops in Brazzaville, « capital » of Free France, in 1940. On October 27, 1940, in fact, General de Gaulle announced, during the Manifesto of Brazzaville , the creation of a Defense Council of the empire, which saw the Congo and French Equatorial Africa to rally to Free France.
The battalions from Africa and the colonial empire played a crucial role in the Second World War, especially during the landing in Provence in August 1944. Their role has often been overshadowed and this stele aims to « do justice to the African continent. Explained Fabrice Tassez, PS mayor of Verquin, a town close to Bethune.
This Friday’s ceremony was attended by several African political and diplomatic representatives. The project born in 2017 was co-financed by Congo (5.000 euros), the Association of Mayors of the Pas-de-Calais (1.000 euros) and a patronage agreement.