Lumumba’s Children Ask Belgian King for their Father’s Remains

Patrice_Lumumba_official_portrait
Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of Congo

Early this month, I shared with you that the Belgian King Expressed his ‘Deepest Regrets’ for Colonial Past in Congo, by sending a letter to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)  Felix Tshisekedi on the day of the celebration of the DRC’s independence from Belgium. I told you that those were empty words, and that coincidentally, King Philippe had forgotten to include the period from 1908 to the independence of Congo, and the treacherous role played by Belgium in the assassination of the Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.

Lumumba detained
Lumumba detained, a few days before his death

Now the children of Patrice Lumumba, led by his daughter Juliana Amato Lumumba, have asked the Belgian king to prove his good faith by sending back the remains of their father. These remains are parts that were taken, like Lumumba‘s teeth, from his body at the time of his murder. We know from a documentary which aired in 2000 that Belgian Police Commissioner, Gerard Soete, told AFP that he and acolytes had decapitated Lumumba’s body and those of two others, Joseph Okito and  Maurice Mpolo, and subsequently dissolved them in acid. In another documentary that same year, Soete showed two teeth which he said had belonged to Lumumba. He took Lumumba’s teeth as souvenir.  In 2016, Ludo De Witte, author of the book “The assassination of Lumumba,” lodged a legal complaint against Soete’s daughter after she showed a gold tooth, which she said had belonged to Lumumba, during an interview with a newspaper.

According to AFP, Juliana Lumumba’s letter was written and addressed to the Belgian monarch on June 30, which happens to be the 60th anniversary of the Independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo from Belgium.

We, Lumumba’s children, call for the just return of the relics of Patrice Emery Lumumba to the land of his ancestors,” Juliana said in the letter.

In Juliana Lumumba’s letter, which she said was written on behalf of her “wider family”, she said that her father was a “hero without a grave”.

The remains of Patrice Emery Lumumba are being used on the one hand as trophies by some of your fellow citizens, and on the other as funereal possessions sequestered by your kingdom’s judiciary.”

“Dawn in the Heart of Africa” by Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Emery Lumumba
Patrice Emery Lumumba

Here is a poem by Patrice Lumumba (19251961), published on Pambazuka NewsPatrice Lumumba was elected the first prime minister of the  Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Assassinated by Belgian colonialists and the CIA, Lumumba was a founder member of the Movement National Congolais (MNC), which led the Congo to independence. Patrice Lumumba is the symbol of aspirations of an entire continent, and he continues to serve as an inspiration to contemporary Congolese and African politicians. His spirit lives on, and his pride is ours!

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Dawn in the Heart of Africa

For a thousand years, you, African, suffered like beast,
Your ashes strewn to the wind that roams the desert.
Your tyrants built the lustrous, magic temples
To preserve your soul, reserve your suffering.
Barbaric right of fist and the white right to a whip,
You had the right to die, you also could weep.
On your totem they carved endless hunger, endless bonds,
And even in the cover of the woods a ghastly cruel death
Was watching, snaky, crawling to you
Like branches from the holes and heads of trees
Embraced your body and your ailing soul.
Then they put a treacherous big viper on your chest:
On your neck they laid the yoke of fire-water,
They took your sweet wife for glitter of cheap pearls,
Your incredible riches that nobody could measure.
From your hut, the tom-toms sounded into dark of night
Carrying cruel laments up mighty black rivers
About abused girls, streams of tears and blood,
About ships that sailed to countries where the little man
Wallows in an ant hill and the dollar is king,
To that damned land which they called a motherland.
There your child, your wife were ground, day and night
In a frightful, merciless mill, crushing them in dreadful pain.
You are a man like others. They preach you to believe
That good white God will reconcile all men at last.
By fire you grieved and sang the moaning songs
Of a homeless beggar that sinks at strangers’ doors.
And when a craze possessed you
And your blood boiled through he night
You danced, you moaned, obsessed by father’s passion.
Like furry of a storm to lyrics of a manly tune
From a thousand years of misery a strength burst out of you
In metallic voice of jazz, in uncovered outcry
That thunders through the continent like gigantic surf.
The whole world surprised , wakes up in panic
To the violent rhythm of blood, to the violent rhythm of jazz,
The white man turning pallid over this new song
That carries torch of purple through the dark of night.

The dawn is here, my brother! Dawn! Look in our faces,
A new morning breaks in our old Africa.
Ours alone will now be the land, the water, mighty rivers
Poor African surrendered for a thousand years.
Hard torches of the sun will shine for us again
They’ll dry the tears in eyes and spittle on your face.
The moment when you break the chains, the heavy fetters,
The evil cruel times will go never to come again.
A free and gallant Congo will rise from black soil,
A free and gallant Congo-black blossom from black seed!

Patrice Lumumba

Lumumba’s death: Could we (Africans) have acted differently?

Frantz Fanon
Frantz Fanon

This is a great article by Frantz Fanon, which I published earlier in French.  (You will find the original here).  In view of all the events occurring in Africa (bombing of Cote d’Ivoire and Libya) with the UN approval, I thought that this article, published in 1964, was so important that I had to translate it into english for all to read! Enjoy…

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The great success of the enemies of Africa is to have corrupted the Africans themselves.  It is true that these Africans had vested interest in the murder of Lumumba.  Heads of puppet governments, in a fake independence, faced everyday by massive opposition from their peoples, it did not take long to convince themselves that the real independence of the Congo would put them personally at risk.  And there were other Africans, a little less puppet, but who get frightened when it comes to disengaging Africa from the West.  It seems as if these African Heads of State are still afraid to face Africa.  These, also, though less actively, but consciously, contributed to the deterioration of the situation in Congo.  Little by little, we were reaching the agreement in the West that there was a need to intervene in Congo, we could not let things evolve at this pace.

Gradually, the idea of a UN intervention was taking shape. So we can say today that two simultaneous errors were committed by Africans.

Patrice Lumumba
Patrice Lumumba

And first by Lumumba when he sought the intervention of the UN.  He should have never called on the United Nations.  The UN has never been able to properly solve problems brought to man’s consciousness by colonialism, and whenever it has intervened, it was to actually come to the aid of the colonial power to the oppressed country.  Look at Cameroon.  What kind of peace do the subjects of Mr. Ahidjo kept in check by a French expeditionary force, which most of the time, made ​​its debut in Algeria, enjoy?  The UN, however, controlled the autodetermination of Cameroon and the French government has set up a “Provisional Executive” there.

Look at Viet-Nam.  Look at Laos.

It is not true to say that the UN fail because the causes are too difficult.

In reality the UN is the legal card used by imperialist interests when brute force has failed.  The sharing, the mixed controlled joint committees, under guardianship are international means of torture to break the will of the people, cultivating anarchy, banditry and misery.

Continue reading “Lumumba’s death: Could we (Africans) have acted differently?”