Darkest day in the Congo

patrice lumumba congo

Patrice Lumumba, the leader of the anti-colonial struggle in the Congo and its first democratically-elected prime minister, was removed from prison and murdered in the dark of night by a firing squad acting with the approval of the United States and Belgium. He was 35. Lumumba and two of his associates, Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito, were tied to trees and gunned down one by one. Lumumba was born on July 2, 1925, in Katako-Kombe in the Sunkuru district of the Kasai Province. Growing up, Lumumba attended a Protestant Missionary school as well as a Catholic missionary school and became a part of the educated elite called évolués. Lumumba contributed to the Congolese press through poems and other writings. His occupations included a postal clerk in Kinshasa and an accountant in Kisangani. Lumumba's organizational involvement varied; he served as head of a trade union of government employees, he was active in the Belgian Liberal Party and in 1958, Lumumba founded the Congolese National Movement (MNC in French). Also in 1958, he was invited to the first All-African People's Conference in Accra, Ghana, organized by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He met nationalists and Pan-Africanists from various African countries and became a member of the permanent organization set up by the conference.

image credit: Japan Times