Still so Many Illusions to Cast off
In the 1920s, the Belgian colonial government appointed a territorial administrator named René Pecheur, a former missionary, to organise the territorial unification of what was conceived as the Ngbaka ethnicity, in the Ubangi region of the Equatorial Province of the Belgian Congo. This project had its place in the larger colonial tendency from the end of the First World War onwards, to replace the former assimilationist policy by an indigenist one. Initially, Pecheur was convinced of the necessity and feasibility of his task, but gradually lost faith and resigned in 1928. He was confronted with the divergence between Belgian ideals and Congolese realities, which led to his moral and mental exhaustion. His case and that of his successor Gaston Crabbeck indicate how individual trajectories and personal crises had a significant impact on the hampered implementation of colonial rule in the Belgian Congo.