An official from the Belgian government has returned a tooth from the murdered Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba to his children, in recognition of the atrocities that accompanied the country’s brutal exploitation of the former colony.
In 1961, Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which was known then as the Republic of Congo, and an icon of the struggle against colonialism in Africa, was murdered by Belgian mercenaries and separatists. Some of his killers kept his teeth as macabre mementos, but they dissolved his remains in acid.
At the Egmont Palace in Brussels, a group of family members received the gold-capped tooth in a light blue case. The casket will be taken to the embassy of the DRC as a first step before repatriation.
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