A statue of Patrice Lumumba stands on Lumumba Avenue, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, which leads to the airport. With a signature smile on his young and handsome face, he raised his hands to face the passing traffic and crowds, as if to greet those who came and say goodbye to those who left.
In a flash, more than 60 years have passed since Lumumba was murdered. In 1960, the “African Independence Year”, 17 African countries were freed from colonial rule, two of which were named the “Republic of the Congo” – a former Belgian colony with Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) as its capital, Abbreviated as Congo (Lee), later renamed Zaire, now known as Congo (Gold); another was originally a French colony, with Brazzaville as the capital, referred to as Congo (Brazzaville). Lumumba was the first Prime Minister of Congo (Lewis). But he was quickly overthrown in a coup and was secretly killed by local forces in January 1961 at the age of 35.
For a long time, the mastermind behind Lumumba’s death has been identified as the CIA. But the latest disclosures show that MI6 is also involved in this conspiracy. There was more than one murderer of Lumumba.
“Getting rid of him is the priority”
On June 30, 1960, Leopoldville basked in joy. Black people sang “Independence Cha Cha” to celebrate the country’s just won independence.
This is Lumumba’s highlight moment. This young man from a peasant family and a high school graduate has worked as a clerk and accountant in the post office, as a sales manager in a brewery, and has run the “Free Press” and “Independent Weekly” to promote the idea of national independence. In October 1958, he founded the Congolese National Movement Party and served as chairman. He is eloquent, handsome, and good at speeches. He advocates peaceful negotiations for independence as soon as possible, and quickly attracts a large number of followers. In January 1960, he attended the Brussels Roundtable on Congolese Independence. In May of that year, the party he led won the general election. On June 23, he was elected prime minister and Joseph Kasavubu was elected president. Seven days later, Congo (Lee) officially became independent.
However, the seemingly “moderate” regime change leaves many hidden dangers. For example, the mineral resources of Congo (Lewis) made the former colonists unwilling to withdraw. In the most mineral-rich province of Katanga, mining is mainly controlled by Belgian companies, and local politicians are also pro-Belgian. Under his instigation, Katanga Province declared independence, and Moiz Tshombe served as “President”. When the Congolese government forces intervened, Belgium intervened in the name of protecting the diaspora.
On July 13, Lumumba announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Belgium and asked the United Nations to help expel the other side’s troops and suppress the separatist forces. British General Alexander quickly led the Ghanaian contingent of the United Nations peacekeeping force into the conflict zone, and said contemptuously: “The Congolese politicians have not come down from the trees.” The force did not act as forcefully as Lumumba had hoped.
Lumumba made a special trip to New York for this purpose and tried to directly seek help from the “heads” of the United Nations and the United States, but failed. Disappointed, he turned his attention to the Soviet Union. On July 28, Lumumba publicly stated that the Soviet Union is the only major country that provides assistance according to the will of the Congolese (Lebanon) people, and that he will “capture Katanga Province” with Soviet military assistance.
It is these remarks that make the United States murderous. Before that, in 1959, there was a revolution in Cuba in the “backyard” of the United States, the pro-American Batista regime was overthrown, and the Cuban revolutionary leader Castro was bringing the country to the socialist camp. Now Lumumba has also fallen to the Soviet Union, which is intolerable for the United States in the “Cold War”. On August 16, the CIA agent in Leopoldville, Hedgman, reported to the headquarters: “Anti-Western forces are rapidly developing in Congo, and it is imminent to take action to avoid another Cuba.” On August 26, then CIA Director Dürer Sri Lanka issued an order to Devlin, the head of the station in Congo: “If Lumumba continues to hold power, it will inevitably pave the way for the communist takeover of Congo (Lewis)… Removing him is the most urgent task at present.”
Left: Eisenhower, a soldier. Right: British “Queen of Spies” Parker.
Poison tricks one by one
Devlin worked in Congo (Lebanon) from 1960 to 1967 as the CIA’s “Mr. Congo”. At that time, the head of the British MI6 station in Congo, Daphne Parker, known as the “Queen of Spies”, had a lot of contacts with him. Historian Susan Williams, in White’s Malice: The CIA and the Secret Recolonization of Africa, revealed that Parker actively helped his American counterparts in the killing of Lumumba, among other things. . “There is no doubt that Parker, under the cover of the British embassy, had been fully aware of the dirty plans of the CIA. She and Devlin were very close.”
Williams said that in September 1960, then British Prime Minister Macmillan and A day after then-US President Eisenhower discussed Lumumba’s “trouble activities”, Howard Smith of the British Foreign Office’s Africa Division told colleagues that the easiest way to get rid of Lumumba’s “trouble” was to kill him.
Left: Congo (League) President Kasavubu. Right: Lumumba (centre) giving a speech.
A member of the British House of Lords once recalled such an incident: “A few months before Parker’s death, I mentioned the various accounts surrounding the murder of Lumumba and asked her if MI6 had anything to do with it. Parker replied: ‘We did it Yes, I organized.'” Parker also previously acknowledged that in newly independent countries, Britain was always careful to set people up against each other and destroy each other.
The United States and the United Kingdom “get rid of” Lumumba’s means one after another. On the one hand, the U.S. ambassador to the Congo (League) lobbied President Kasavubu to remove Lumumba from his post. On the other hand, Devlin secretly spent money to organize protests against Lumumba. Time magazine originally planned to report on Lumumba, but the report was withdrawn after the CIA “does the work”. By September 1960, Kasavubu, who was dissatisfied with Lumumba’s many arbitrary decisions, announced the dismissal of six officials including Lumumba. Lumumba refused to leave and also announced the dismissal of Kasavubu. He also won parliamentary support by eloquence. There is no way to legally force him to step down.
The next move is a coup. Previously, Devlin had turned many officials around Lumumba into CIA insiders through various operations. One evening in early September 1960, while Devlin was visiting Kasavubu, Mobutu, the chief of the Congolese army’s general staff, suddenly appeared. He told Devlin: “I’m sick of this political game. The Soviets are invading the country. I told Lumumba about this and he told me to leave it alone. The army is ready to overthrow Lumumba and is made up of my supporters A transitional government. Can the U.S. help us?” Devlin was a little surprised when a minister who had been pulled over by him walked in and handed him a note that read: “Help him.”
Devlin agreed to give coup officers $5,000 each to settle in. On September 14, Mobutu staged a coup and placed Lumumba under house arrest. However, Lumumba still did not resign and kept making statements to the outside world. He still received the support of many people, and he was still under the protection of the UN peacekeeping force.
On September 21, Dulles said at an internal meeting: “Lumumba still has the possibility of becoming president. We must do everything possible to get rid of him so that he cannot return to politics.” On September 27, Devlin Meet the poison expert “Joe” sent from headquarters in a safe house. He brought a poison that could be put on the toothbrush, and the “guest” used the toothbrush the first day and died the next day. “Joe” said that President Eisenhower himself approved the action, but added that the final action was decided independently by Devlin.
Devlin ultimately didn’t do it. On the one hand, Lumumba is full of vigilance against the Americans, and Devlin believes that “the KGB is already around him” and it is difficult to ensure the poisoning effect. On the other hand, the election was approaching in the United States at that time, and if the plan was revealed, it would affect Eisenhower’s election.
In the end, the CIA chose to “borrow a knife to kill.” On October 15, Dulles called Devlin and told him to “let the Congolese against the Congolese.”
Above left: Lumumba was controlled by the military after a coup in 1960. Bottom left: After Lumumba was killed, one of his gold teeth was pulled out before the body was dipped in acid. Right: On May 5, 1977, then-President Mobutu (front) inspected the army.
No bones left after tragic death
In early November, under pressure from the United States, Kasavubu announced that Lumumba would no longer hold government positions and should no longer be protected by UN peacekeepers. Lumumba realizes the danger is approaching. On November 27, he fled the Prime Minister’s Office on a stormy night and planned to return to his hometown. On the way, the British general Alexander, who was in command of the peacekeeping force, had the opportunity to rescue him, but did not do so. Williams believes that Alexander was also an “accomplice” in sending Lumumba to his death.
On December 1, Lumumba was arrested in Port Franchi, beaten badly, and sent back to Leopoldville to be held in a military camp. On January 13, 1961, soldiers suddenly mutinied and released Lumumba. But Kasavubu and Mobutu eventually regained control of the army and Lumumba was arrested again.
On January 17, 1961, Kasavubu and Mobutu put Lumumba on a plane and flew directly to Elizabethville, the capital of Katanga province. They and Devlin knew that the Tshombe group, who hated Lumumba to the core, would not let him live until the next day. That night, Lumumba was shot after being brutally abused. Belgian policeman Suter was ordered to throw Lumumba’s body into a container of sulfuric acid and destroy it. On January 19, Eisenhower, who was still in office a day later, said after learning of Lumumba’s death: “In my tenure, he finally died.”
”Queen of Spies” Parker’s biography reads: “Parker and Germany Flynn didn’t pull the trigger or give orders to the firing squad, but they conspired to create a situation where death was
Lumumba ‘s most logical and practically only possible outcome.” Since then, armed conflicts between various factions in the Congo have continued. In 1965, Mobutu, the then commander-in-chief of the National Army, staged another coup d’état and overthrew Kasavubu.
Patrice Lumumba (1925-1961
) leader of the Congolese (Lebanon) independence movement, founded the Congolese National Movement Party in 1958, and served as chairman, was elected as the first prime minister of the Congo (Lebanon) in 1960, and was elected by the United Kingdom and the United States in 1961. The intelligence agency plotted and was killed.