Belgian court says Lumumba’s tooth should be returned

A court in Belgium had ruled that a tooth taken from the corpse of Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba should be returned to his family.

Lumumba, who became the first president after Congo gained its independence from Belgium in 1960, was murdered in 1961 after he was abducted by separatist fighters.

The Belgian government had a role in his death and in 2022 issued a formal apology.

British and American spy agencies are also believed to have been involved.

Lumumba’s tooth is thought to have been taken by a Belgian policeman who was helping to dispose of the body. The tooth was later seized by the Belgian authorities.

The court in Belgian said that the tooth should be given to Lumumba’s daughter, Juliana Lumumba, who had written a letter to the Belgian king asking for its return.

 

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