Patrice Lumumba’s Family Welcome Court’s Decision on Returning his Tooth
The family of Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba has welcomed a court ruling that said his tooth should be returned to his family.
Mr Lumumba’s nephew Jean Jacques Lumumba said the move “is a good step” of what happened.
“[Lumumba] is a hero who we never buried, the decision [of a Belgium court] is a good step to know the truth…there will be phases to get there, ” Mr Jacques said.
He said two men who were killed alongside Mr Lumumba, Joseph Okito and Maurice Mpolo, “are also Congo heroes” and the truth about their assassination should be revealed as well.
A court in Belgium has ruled that a tooth taken from the corpse of Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba should be returned to his family, Belgian media are reporting.
Lumumba, who became Congo’s first prime minister after it gained independence from Belgium in 1960, was murdered in 1961 after he was abducted by separatist fighters.
The Belgian government had a role in his death and in 2002 issued a formal apology.
The British and American spy agencies are also believed to have been involved.
Lumumba’s tooth is thought to have been taken by a Belgian policeman who was helping to dispose of the body.
It was later seized by the Belgian authorities.
The court in Belgium said that the tooth should be given to Lumumba’s daughter, Juliana Lumumba, who had written a letter to the Belgian king asking for its return.