Political assassinations: The assassination of Patrice lumumba
On this day in 1961 Patrice Émery Lumumba was assassinated.
‘Political Assassination, Colonial Style’, which sketched the background to the conspiracy that led, on 17 January 1961, to the murder of the Congo’s first Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba.
To know the basic facts about Lumumba’s murder is one thing, but to be shown the place where the foul deed was done, and to hear from the lips of the murderers themselves, how they did it; to see the bullet holes in the tree that served as the execution block - was a very surreal experience. Where those decrepit men were talking about a fellow human being or a mere object?
This film enables you to fully comprehend the utter callousness which marked Belgian rule over the Congo for a hundred years before the Congo obtained its independence in 1960. And it also exposed the emptiness of the avowals of the United States, which claims to be a promoter of ‘democracy’ around the world.
Lumumba’s case was clear - the Belgians wanted to reimpose colonialism on his country only days after it had been proclaimed independent. To achieve their objective, the Belgians had, wittingly or unwittingly, provoked a mutiny in the Congolese army, known as the Force Publique. To quell the mutiny, the Belgians had flown in paratroopers who were bent on preventing the Congolese government from functioning.
Perhaps naively believing the American propaganda that because the USA had fought against a European power, Great Britain, for its own independence - achieved in 1776 - the USA was ‘sympathetic’ to the struggle of the African people to rid themselves of European imperialism, Lumumba requested the USA to send troops into the Congo to expel the Belgians. The USA rejected Lumumba’s appeal and advised him to turn to the United Nations instead. In the end Lumumba’s death was managed by sellouts, America and Belgium.
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