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The Assassination of Lumumbaby Ludo De Witte
Synopses & Reviews
Patrice Lumumba, first prime minister of the Republic of Congo and a pioneer of African unity, was murdered on 17 January 1961.
Democratically elected to lead the Mouvement National Congolais, the party he founded in 1958, Lumumba was at the centre of the country’s growing popular defiance of the colonial rule of oppression imposed by Belgium. When, in June 1960, independence was finally won, his unscheduled speech at the official ceremonies in Kinshasa received a standing ovation and made him a hero to millions. Always a threat to those who sought to maintain a covert imperialist hand over the country, however, he became within months the victim of an insidious plot and was arrested and subsequently tortured and executed.
This book unravels the appalling mass of lies, hypocrisy and betrayals that have surrounded accounts of the assassination since it perpetration. Making use of a huge array of official sources as well as personal testimony from many of those in the Congo at the time, Ludo De Witte reveals a network of complicity ranging from the Belgian government to the CIA. Chilling official memos which detail ‘liquidation’ and ‘threats to national interests’ are analysed alongside macabre tales of the destruction of evidence, putting Patrice Lumumba’s personal strength and his dignified quest for African unity in stark contrast with one of the murkiest episodes in twentieth-century politics.
Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Rupublic of the Congo was at the centre of the country's defiance towards the exploitation of its Belgian coloniser. Within months of independence he was arrested, tortured and executed. This book reveals the lies that have surrounded the murder.
De Witte has performed an important service in establishing the appalling facts of Lumumba's last days and Belgium's responsibility for what happened.De Witte has assembled a staggering amount of detail to support his allegations of direct government participation in Lumumba's murder.
In January 1961, seven months after Congo won independence from Belgium, the country's first elected head of state, Patrice Lumumba, was killed because of fears that he would nationalize Belgian corporate interests in Congo.
Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo and a pioneer of African Unity, was assassinated on 17 January 1961. His crime had been to defy the Belgian Government which sought to maintain a covert imperialist hand over the country even after independence was finally won in June 1960. Ludo De Witte reveals the appalling mass of lies that have surrounded the murder. Making use of official sources and government testimony, he uncovers a network of complicity spreading from the Belgian government to the United Nations and the CIA. This book, already translated into four languages, prompted the Belgian parliament to establish an official commission of inquiry into Lumumba's assassination. In his afterword to this new edition De Witte discusses its findings.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -212) and index.
About the Author
Ludo De Witte is a sociologist and a writer. He is author of the Dutch work Crisis in Kongo and has researched two broadcast television documentaries on Patrice Lumumba.
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