Belgium hands over DR Congo independence hero’s tooth to family | Independence News


Patrice Lumumba was the primary democratically elected prime minister of the DRC after independence from Belgium in 1960.

Belgian authorities have handed over a tooth, the one identified stays of the murdered Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba, to his household throughout a ceremony in Brussels.

Lumumba turned the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) first democratically elected prime minister after independence from Belgium in 1960.

Chief prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw gave his relations a small, shiny blue field containing the tooth in a televised ceremony at Egmont Palace in central Brussels on Monday. He stated authorized motion they’d taken to obtain the relic had delivered “justice”.

“There’s a sense of satisfaction after a number of years,” considered one of his sons Roland Lumumba informed state broadcaster RTBF earlier than the ceremony.

The tooth is to be positioned in a casket and flown to the DRC.

Whereas in workplace, the eloquent Lumumba alarmed the West with overtures to Moscow on the peak of the Chilly Warfare. He additionally angered Belgium with a speech criticising its years of colonisation of the African nation.

By some estimates, killings, famine and illness killed as much as 10 million Congolese through the first 23 years of Belgium’s rule from 1885 to 1960, when King Leopold II dominated the Congo Free State as a private fiefdom. Villages that missed rubber assortment quotas had been notoriously made to supply severed palms as an alternative.

Whereas Belgium’s King Phillipe, who just lately visited the nation, has admitted that Belgian colonial rule was unjustifiable and racist, he stopped wanting an apology.

Lumumba’s authorities lasted simply three months earlier than he was overthrown and assassinated by a firing squad, aged solely 35. His supporters and a few historians accuse the CIA of getting ordered his killing.

In accordance with quite a few stories, his physique was dug up, dismembered and dissolved in acid by Belgian officers and by no means discovered. One in all them pocketed a tooth as a “trophy”.

In 2016, Belgian authorities seized the tooth from the daughter of the policeman, Gerard Soete, after Lumumba’s household filed a criticism.

The DRC is about to carry three days of “nationwide mourning” from 27 to 30 June – its 62nd anniversary of independence – to mark the burial ceremony in Kinshasa of the stays.

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