Judge Rules Belgium Must Return Patrice Lumumba’s Tooth to Congo

Patrice Lumumba Tooth
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[Patrice Lumumba Tooth]
The Guardian: "The tooth had been seized from a Belgian policeman who admitted taking it while helping to dispose of Lumumba’s body after the politician was murdered in 1961."
Photo: YouTube

A Belgian judge has said that a tooth taken from the remains of the Congo’s first elected leader, Patrice Lumumba, should be returned to his family almost 60 years after his assassination by rebels overseen by Belgian officers.

The tooth had been seized from a Belgian policeman who admitted taking it while helping to dispose of Lumumba’s body after the politician was murdered in 1961.

The Belgian government of the time, the CIA, and MI6 have also been implicated.

Eric Van Duyse, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, said the tooth would be returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a former Belgian colony.

He described it as a symbolic gesture, since there was no “absolute certainty” that the tooth was Lumumba’s. “No DNA test has been carried out; it would have destroyed it,” he said.

In June, Lumumba’s daughter Juliana Amato Lumumba called on Belgium to return “the relics of Patrice Emery Lumumba to the land of his ancestors.”

A charismatic but volatile pan-Africanist who played a key part in the fight for independence, Lumumba became the first democratically elected prime minister days before his country, then known as the Republic of the Congo, gained independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960.

Read the rest of the story here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/10/judge-orders-return-of-too...

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