Monday, June 24, 2024

Patrice Lumumba’s tooth taken from corpse to be returned to family

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

The family of Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba is expected to receive the tooth taken from his corpse.

A court in Belgium has ruled that the tooth should be returned to Lumumba’s family.

Lumumba’s tooth was believed to have been taken by a Belgian policeman who was helping to dispose of the body.

The tooth was seized by authorities in 2016 as part of an investigation by federal public prosecutors on Lumumba’s death.

The court in Belgium said that the tooth should be given to Lumumba’s daughter, Juliana Lumumba.

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Juliana Lumumba had written a letter to the Belgian king asking for the return of the tooth.

According to the Brussels Times, in June, 64-year-old Juliana Lumumba wrote a letter to King Philippe asking for her father’s remains to be returned “to the land of his ancestors.”

Mr Lumumba’s nephew Jean Jacques Lumumba said the move “is a good step”.

“[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.

Lumumba, became Congo’s first prime minister after it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

He was murdered in 1961 by a firing squad after he was abducted by separatist fighters.

Lumumba lasted less than three months in his position as prime minister when he was overthrown and given up to Belgian-backed separatists militias.

The British and American spy agencies were believed to have been involved in his capture and death.

The Belgian government had a role in his death as well and in 2002 issued a formal apology.


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