A gold crowned tooth that belonged to assassinated Congolese Prime Minister has been returned to the former leader’s family by the country of Belgium, BBC reported.
Monday’s ceremony in Brussels saw the return of the tooth to the family. UPI reported.
“I can’t say it’s a feeling of joy, but it’s positive for us that we can bury our loved one,”Roland Lumumba, his son, spoke at the ceremony. “His soul will be able to rest in peace. It’s important for us.”
Lumumba became a prominent pan-Africanist in Belgium in the late 1950s. He was also a leader in pushing for the country’s independence from Europe. In 1960, he became the first Black Prime Minster of the newly formed Democratic Republic of Congo (or DRC).
Lumumba was immediately challenged by Western governments, including the United States, because he supported socialism. This Cold War-era fear led Western governments to believe Lumumba was forming an allegiance with the Soviet Union which would allow Moscow to have access to Congo’s uranium, The Guardian reported.
Lumumba also had problems at home. In a military coup, he was removed from office and imprisoned.
Lumumba was shot and killed by a firing squad in 1961. He was then buried in an unmarked grave. He was later be dug up, transported 125 miles and interred again. BBC reported that he was exhumed again and his remains dismembered.
At the time of his assassination, he was 35 years old.
Reports also claim that the CIA had plans to assassinate the politician while he was in office.
Belgium finally admitted it bore its sons forty years after his assassination. “moral responsibility”For his passing.
His death was covered up for decades and then finally in 2000, Belgian Police Commissioner Gerard Soete confessed that he had dismembered Lumumba’s body and dissolved the remains in acid, according to The Guardian.
A German news agency also reported that Soete had confessed that he had two missing teeth that he claimed belonged to Lumumba. The Guardian reported that in 2016, Belgian police confiscated the teeth, which included the gold one, and returned them to Soete’s family on Monday.