Brussels, 22 June 2022 (TDI): Belgian authorities have returned a tooth of the murdered Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba to his children
The Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexandre de Croo said, he considered it a moral responsibility to accept the exploitation of the Congo Prime Minister in the past.
Previously, King Philippe of Belgium made his first visit to the DRC earlier this month.
King Philippe expressed “deepest regrets for the wounds of the past”, and described a “regime of unequal relations, unjustifiable” which lead to discrimination.
Moreover, the Belgian government has decided to finance a Patrice Lumumba foundation with over US $3 million, with a yearly grant of over US $430,000.
Belgium finally returns a gold crowned tooth belonging to Patrice Lumumba who remains a hero of the anti colonial struggle. This is the last remains of Lumumba. It was kept as a trophy by a Belgian police officer. The rest of his remains was dissolved in acid. pic.twitter.com/kbDlB1NLou
— Norbert Mao (@norbertmao) June 20, 2022
History of Patrice Lumumba
Lumumba was the first and only democratically elected leader of the present-day Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Lumumba was the only leader to oppose Belgium’s 75 years of colonial rule, which ended in 1960.
He supported a unitary Congo and opposed the division of the country on ethnic or regional lines.
Also, he supported pan-Africanism and the liberation of colonial territories. He proclaimed his regime one of “positive neutralism,” which he defined as a return to African values
In February 1961, Lumumba’s Congolese rivals abducted him and took him to the breakaway province of Katanga, where they murdered him.
Lumumba was a man of strong character. He intended to pursue his policies regardless of the enemies he made within his country or abroad.
The Congo, furthermore, was a key area in terms of the geopolitics of Africa, and because of its wealth, size, and proximity to white-dominated southern Africa.