Court orders release and return of Patrice Lumumba’s tooth to family 59 years after his death
A court in Belgium has reportedly ruled that the tooth of Congolese independence hero and first prime minister Patrice Lumumba which was taken from his corpse be released and returned to his family.
The tooth was seized by authorities in 2016 as part of an investigation by federal public prosecutors into Lumumba’s death.
Juliana Lumumba, Patrice Lumumba’s daughter had written a letter to the Belgian king to demand the release of her father’s seized tooth to be returned “to the land of his ancestors”, and the court has finally granted her request.
In 1960, Lumumba, became Congo’s first prime minister after it gained independence from Belgium but he did not last for even three months before his murder in 1961 by a firing squad.
He was abducted by separatist militias backed by Belgium.
In 2002, the Belgian government issued a formal apology to the government and people of Congo as well as the family of Patrice Lumumba for its role in his death.
Belgium was not the only country to have been complicit in the capture and murder of Lumumba. The British and American spy agencies were believed to have played roles too.
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