After 61 years, Belgium gives Patrice Lumumba's tooth back to his family

posted by vicky684 about 14 days ago
After 61 years, Belgium gives Patrice Lumumba's tooth back to his family
BELGIAN OFFICIALS have finally given back a tooth that belonged to the freedom fighter Patrice Lumumba, who was killed 61 years ago.

The Congolese independence leader was killed and his body was dissolved in acid in January 1961 as part of a plot led by Belgium, Britain, and the United States. The tooth is the only thing left of him.

Reports say that in a private ceremony this morning at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, a Belgian official gave the gold-capped tooth in a light blue box to members of Mr. Lumumba's family.

The relic was then put in a box that will be taken to the embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo as the first step toward its full return.

Alexander De Croo, the prime minister of Belgium, told Congolese officials and Mr. Lumumba's family that it had taken too long to get the tooth back.

De Croo said, "It is not normal that Belgium kept the body of one of the founders of the Congolese nation for 60 years."

Congo, which is now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), got its independence from Belgium in 1960. Patrice Lumumba was the first democratically elected prime minister of the country.

He was also seen as a hero and a symbol of the fight against colonialism in Africa.

Lord Lea was quoted in the London Review of Books as saying that Lumumba's death was planned by Britain's MI6. He said that former security chief Daphne Park told him that Britain was involved.

The West was worried that Lumumba would give Soviets mining contracts. There are CIA records that prove the US was involved in the murder, but Britain's secret service records will never be opened. A source in the UK government said that suggestions that Britain would be involved were "speculative."

The bodies were supposed to be handed over on June 21, 2021, to mark the 60th anniversary of the DRC's independence. However, DRC President Tshisekedi said that the number of Covid-19 cases has been rising "exponentially," which has caused a delay. The plan was then moved to January 2022, but the pandemic once again stopped the plans.

Mr. Lumumba's children have been working hard to get their father's body back.

In 2020, the pan-African leader's daughter, Juliana Lumumba, asked for her father's tooth to be returned to her family and country so he could be buried properly.

In the letter, she said, "If anthropologists say that caring about death and the funeral ritual are essential human traits, then every year the DRC, Africa, and the rest of the world pay tribute to Patrice Emery Lumumba as a hero who is still alive." Years go by, and our father is still dead without a funeral speech and a body without bones.

"In our culture, as in yours, respect for the human person goes beyond physical death. This is shown by how well the bodies of the dead are cared for and how important the funeral ritual, the last goodbye, is.

"But why, after his horrible death, is Lumumba's soul doomed to wander the earth forever, without a grave to give it a place to rest?"

Ms. Lumumba added, "Our mother spent the last 53 years of her life in mourning clothes, fighting to give her loving husband a place to rest. She left us on December 23, 2014, a broken-hearted woman who had not been able to do her job as a widow. The worst part of our sadness is knowing that our mother is not at peace.

"As children, my brothers and I have a duty to honor our father, our ancestor, by giving him a grave worthy of the precious blood that runs through our veins and connects us to him. This is our duty as descendants, now that we are mother and fathers ourselves."

"We, the children of Patrice Emery Lumumba, do not want to leave this painful job to our children, who never knew their grandfather," she said.

The relic was given back after Belgium's King Philippe said he felt "deepest regret" for the bad things Belgium did to its former African colony in the past.

In the year 2000, a Belgian police commissioner named Gérard Soete said that he had taken Mr. Lumumba's tooth by force and dissolved it in sulfuric acid.

Soete also said that two of Lumumba's best friends, Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito, who died at the same time as the Congolese hero, were cut up and dissolved.

Soete showed the tooth, which he had kept for almost 40 years, in a documentary on the German TV channel ARD in the year 2000.

In September 2020, the Belgian justice system said that they had agreed to give the tooth back to Mr. Lumumba's family. It had been taken from Soete's daughter.
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vicky684


I am Victor UC popularly known as "Mr Victor Vlogs", I am a blogger, Content creator, web developer, etc.

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