(ANSA) – BRUSSELS, June 20 – Belgium comes to terms with its colonial past and, after 61 years, has returned to Congo the remains – in fact, only a tooth – of the tortured and sour former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba in 1961. The handover ceremony took place this morning. At Egmont Palace in Brussels. The family of the former prime minister will now return the relics to their homeland, who has prepared three days of national mourning from June 27-30 for the national independence hero. The coffin will be displayed at Palais de Bouble, the seat of the Congolese parliament, and the official burial ceremony will take place on June 30, the date of the 62nd anniversary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at a mausoleum built in the country’s eastern suburbs. Kinshasa.
The assassination of Lumumba, followed by the extermination of the body, its dismemberment and its dissolution in acid, represents one of the darkest pages in the relations between Belgium and its former colony, which became independent on June 30, 1960. In June 1960, Lumumba won first prize. Free elections in the country’s history and appointed prime minister before his assassination.
Belgian policeman Gerard Sweet took the tooth from the remains, and years later said he had acted on the orders of Commissioner Frans Verscher. And Soete took the rest with him to Belgium, where it has been preserved to this day.
In 2011, François Lumumba, the eldest son of the assassinated leader, pointed the finger at dozens of Belgian officials and diplomats, and initiated court proceedings underway in Brussels for “war crimes”. (Dealing).
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