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What to know as Belgium returns Patrice Lumumba’s tooth after 61yrs of murder

By Miftaudeen Raji The Belgian government has just returned a tooth of the Congolese African hero and freedom fighter, Patrice Lumumba to his family. This
What to know as Belgium returns Patrice Lumumba’s tooth after 61 of his murder
By Miftaudeen Raji

The Belgian government has just returned a tooth of the Congolese African hero and freedom fighter, Patrice Lumumba to his family.

This development is coming after 61 years of his murder by agents of a firing squad of the former colonial hegemony.

After his death, Lumumba’s killers had dissolved his body in acid, while keeping some of his teeth as macabre mementoes.

The Lumumba’s tooth is all that remains of the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Lumumba, a fiery revolutionary frontally led Congo’s campaign for independence from Belgium.

Lumumba died as a warrior of the struggle against the abysmal oppression and European colonialism in Africa.

He was murdered by separatists and Belgian mercenaries in 1961.

According to reports, the tooth was retrieved from a Belgian police commissioner, Gerard Soete, after admitting to being a party to the gruesome murder of Lumumba.

The gold-capped tooth, reports said, was handed in a light blue case to a group of family members at the Egmont Palace in Brussels on Monday morning and placed in a casket that will be taken to the embassy of the DRC.

According to Lumumba’s son, Roland Lumumba, the return of the tooth meant his family would be able to “finish their mourning.”

But, Alexander de Croo, Belgian prime minister, described the event as a painful and disagreeable truth that must be spoken.

He said, “A man was murdered for his political convictions, his words, his ideals.”

Earlier this month, King Philippe of Belgium made his first visit to the DRC, where he expressed his deepest regrets for the wounds of the past.

The Belgian monarch described the Belgian rule as a regime of unequal relations, unjustifiable in itself, marked by paternalism, discrimination and racism” that “led to violent acts and humiliations.

Meanwhile, the government of the DRC has declared three days of official mourning before the official burial of the tooth in Kinshasa at the end of this month.

During the first 23 years of Belgium’s rule from 1885, as many as 10 million people died from starvation and disease, when King Leopold II ruled the Congo Free State as a personal property.

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