The Belgian government has repatriated the only remaining part of former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba who was assassinated in 1961.
Former Congolese PM's gold-capped tooth returned from Belgium after 61 years
Lumumba was assassinated and his body disintegrated with acid leaving only the gold-capped tooth
The case containing the Congolese independence hero's gold-capped tooth was handed over to his family in a move seeking to reconcile the two nations from a dark past.
After his assassination in 1961, the body of Lumumba was buried in a shallow grave before it was exhumed and disintegrated by acid leaving only the tooth.
The officer in charge of the disintegration of Lumumba’s body confiscated the tooth to keep as a souvenir.
The move by Belgium comes as the country tries to make up for the brutal ruling it imposed on the Congolese people in the colonial era following years of denying the human rights abuses.
Lumumba was the first democratically elected prime minister after the independence of the Central African country, however, his time in office was short-lived as he was assassinated after less than three months.
Lumumba’s tooth will be placed in a box which will be placed in a coffin, it will then be taken around the country for viewing before it is buried in the Capital, Kinshasa.
DRC's current Prime Minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, described Lumumba’s assassination as hurtful not just to the family of Lumumba but the country at large.
Juliana Lumumba the daughter of the slain leader said the family of Lumumba was going to be at peace after his father’s remains are buried.
After his death, DRC has seen instability and has been under the rule of corrupt leaders who have drained the mineral-rich country.
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