A source of news and information for those brave enough to face facts.


Search ICH


 Print Friendly and PDF

Question Everything!

  Purpose and Intent of this website:

60 years on, Patrice Lumumba’s assassination stands as a gruesome reminder of post-colonial brutality

By Peter Bolton

January 17, 2021 "Information Clearing House" - Exactly 60 years ago today, Congolese national liberation leader Patrice Lumumba was assassinated. Those responsible were most likely troops of a rival government acting on behalf of the Congo’s former colonial master, which had retained a presence in the Central African country. But there’s more to the assassination than initially meets the eye. There has been a gradual accumulation of credible evidence that the world’s post-WWII colonial superpower, the US, along with its sidekick the UK, played a hand in the events leading to Lumumba’s assassination.

The episode remains a bleak reminder of how the West continued to have a brutal role in the Global South, even after its former colonies gained independence. And this kind of self-interested meddling still continues to this very day.

The Congo’s first democratic leader, elected then killed

Lumumba was the Congo’s first democratically elected leader following the country’s independence from Belgium in 1960. He became prime minister after his party, the Congolese National Movement (MCN in its French initials), won the first democratic elections in its history. But though Lumumba was an immensely popular figure at home, he had already earned powerful enemies on the international stage.

His decision to make contact with the Soviet Union certainly raised eyebrows. But it was his firmly stated desire to use the Congo’s resource wealth for the benefit of the country’s own people that attracted the most ire. And as an African nationalist and outspoken proponent of anti-colonialism, he was seen as a potential threat to Western interests throughout the continent. When Congo’s former colonial master Belgium, which still had troops in the country, backed a rival, pro-Western secessionist government, Lumumba was quickly arrested.

Shortly after, on 17 January 1961, Lumumba was assassinated by a “firing squad under Belgian command”. The circumstances surrounding his death remained mysterious for decades. Belgium long denied involvement in his assassination, but eventually issued an official apology for its role in 2002.

Evidence pointing to involvement of the US…

Subsequent revelations indicate that parties other than Belgium were involved in Lumumba’s killing. In fact, there’s evidence that the US shares partial responsibility for the events leading up to his death.

No Advertising - No Government Grants - This Is Independent Media

Get Our Free Newsletter
Don't let an Algorithm choose what you read!

In 1975, a congressional committee admitted that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had plotted to eliminate Lumumba. This was due to fears that he might become Africa’s answer to Fidel Castro. Declassified US intelligence documents subsequently revealed that the leader of the rival Congolese government that had detained Lumumba received arms and financial support directly from the CIA.

Though direct US involvement in the assassination has never been decisively proven, there’s no doubt that there were multiple CIA plots to have him killed, including one that could have involved putting poison into his toothpaste. It’s also undeniable that the US had a motive. It had long benefited from exploitation of the Congo’s resources and even used Congolese uranium in the bombs it dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the aftermath of Lumumba’s death, the US made sure it secured its interests by providing the new Western-friendly government with generous paramilitary support.

…and the UK

And there’s evidence suggesting UK involvement as well. In 2013, a member of the House of Lords claimed that an MI6 officer based in the Congo at the time admitted to him that Lumumba was killed as part of a British intelligence-led Cold War operation. The MI6 officer was Daphne Park, and the peer made this claim in a letter to the London Review of Books. He wrote:

I mentioned [to Park] the uproar surrounding Lumumba’s abduction and murder, and recalled the theory that MI6 might have had something to do with it. ‘We did,’ [Park] replied, ‘I organised it’.

He added that Park implied the decision was predicated on control of the country’s natural resources and Lumumba’s possible future alliance with the Soviet Union:

We went on to discuss her contention that Lumumba would have handed over the whole lot [of the resources] to the Russians: the high-value Katangese uranium deposits as well as the diamonds and other important minerals largely located in the secessionist eastern state of Katanga.

Today, Lumumba is remembered as both a national hero in the Congo and as an important martyr in the cause of Third World liberation throughout Africa and the wider Global South. His assassination remains a dark reminder that the West’s self-interested meddling in former colonies continued even after the granting of national independence. And sadly, this meddling continues right up to the present day.

- "Source" -  

Post your comment below

Registration is necessary to post comments. We ask only that you do not use obscene or offensive language. Please be respectful of others.

See also

Patrice Lumumba, The Truth about a Monstrous Crime of the Colonialists

By Patrice Lumumba - June 30, 1960



Men and women of the Congo,

Victorious independence fighters,

I salute you in the name of the Congolese Government.

I ask all of you, my friends, who tirelessly fought in our ranks, to mark this June 30, 1960, as an illustrious date that will be ever engraved in your hearts, a date whose meaning you will proudly explain to your children, so that they in turn might relate to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren the glorious history of our struggle for freedom.

Although this independence of the Congo is being proclaimed today by agreement with Belgium, an amicable country, with which we are on equal terms, no Congolese will ever forget that independence was won in struggle, a persevering and inspired struggle carried on from day to day, a struggle, in which we were undaunted by privation or suffering and stinted neither strength nor blood.

It was filled with tears, fire and blood. We are deeply proud of our struggle, because it was just and noble and indispensable in putting an end to the humiliating bondage forced upon us.

That was our lot for the eighty years of colonial rule and our wounds are too fresh and much too painful to be forgotten.

We have experienced forced labour in exchange for pay that did not allow us to satisfy our hunger, to clothe ourselves, to have decent lodgings or to bring up our children as dearly loved ones.

Morning, noon and night we were subjected to jeers, insults and blows because we were "Negroes". Who will ever forget that the black was addressed as "tu", not because he was a friend, but because the polite "vous" was reserved for the white man?

We have seen our lands seized in the name of ostensibly just laws, which gave recognition only to the right of might.

We have not forgotten that the law was never the same for the white and the black, that it was lenient to the ones, and cruel and inhuman to the others.

We have experienced the atrocious sufferings, being persecuted for political convictions and religious beliefs, and exiled from our native land: our lot was worse than death itself.

We have not forgotten that in the cities the mansions were for the whites and the tumbledown huts for the blacks; that a black was not admitted to the cinemas, restaurants and shops set aside for "Europeans"; that a black travelled in the holds, under the feet of the whites in their luxury cabins.

Who will ever forget the shootings which killed so many of our brothers, or the cells into which were mercilessly thrown those who no longer wished to submit to the regime of injustice, oppression and exploitation used by the colonialists as a tool of their domination?

All that, my brothers, brought us untold suffering.

But we, who were elected by the votes of your representatives, representatives of the people, to guide our native land, we, who have suffered in body and soul from the colonial oppression, we tell you that henceforth all that is finished with.

The Republic of the Congo has been proclaimed and our beloved country's future is now in the hands of its own people.

Brothers, let us commence together a new struggle, a sublime struggle that will lead our country to peace, prosperity and greatness.

Together we shall establish social justice and ensure for every man a fair remuneration for his labour.

We shall show the world what the black man can do when working in liberty, and we shall make the Congo the pride of Africa.

We shall see to it that the lands of our native country truly benefit its children.

We shall revise all the old laws and make them into new ones that will be just and noble.

We shall stop the persecution of free thought. We shall see to it that all citizens enjoy to the fullest extent the basic freedoms provided for by the Declaration of Human Rights.

We shall eradicate all discrimination, whatever its origin, and we shall ensure for everyone a station in life befitting his human dignity and worthy of his labour and his loyalty to the country.

We shall institute in the country a peace resting not on guns and bayonets but on concord and goodwill.

And in all this, my dear compatriots, we can rely not only on our own enormous forces and immense wealth, but also on the assistance of the numerous foreign states, whose co-operation we shall accept when it is not aimed at imposing upon us an alien policy, but is given in a spirit of friendship.

Even Belgium, which has finally learned the lesson of history and need no longer try to oppose our independence, is prepared to give us its aid and friendship; for that end an agreement has just been signed between our two equal and independent countries. I am sure that this co-operation will benefit both countries. For our part, we shall, while remaining vigilant, try to observe the engagements we have freely made.

Thus, both in the internal and the external spheres, the new Congo being created by my government will be rich, free and prosperous. But to attain our goal without delay, I ask all of you, legislators and citizens of the Congo, to give us all the help you can.

I ask you all to sink your tribal quarrels: they weaken us and may cause us to be despised abroad.

I ask you all not to shrink from any sacrifice for the sake of ensuring the success of our grand undertaking.

Finally, I ask you unconditionally to respect the life and property of fellow-citizens and foreigners who have settled in our country; if the conduct of these foreigners leaves much to be desired, our Justice will promptly expel them from the territory of the republic; if, on the contrary, their conduct is good, they must be left in peace, for they, too, are working for our country's prosperity.

The Congo's independence is a decisive step towards the liberation of the whole African continent.

Our government, a government of national and popular unity, will serve its country.

I call on all Congolese citizens, men, women and children, to set themselves resolutely to the task of creating a national economy and ensuring our economic independence.

Eternal glory to the fighters for national liberation!

Long live independence and African unity!

Long live the independent and sovereign Congo!

Must Watch: Belgian Congo (Documentary): White King, Red Rubber, Black Death


500 Years is Long Enough! Human Depravity in the Congo

DRC: How the CIA got Patrice Lumumba


           Search Information Clearing House

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Click Here To Support Information Clearing House

Your support has kept ICH free on the Web since 2002.

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information ClearingHouse endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

Privacy Statement