Patrice Lumumba – the first Prime Minister of the newly independent African state, The Congo.
To fellow Africans he was a hero -the man who had won his country’s independence from the Belgians. But for the secret services of the western powers he was a threat. It was at the height of the Cold War, when the superpowers of both East and Western blocs were competing for spheres of influence in the New Africa. Congo was vital to Western interests because of its vast mineral resources.
The West believed Lumumba was pro-soviet and would open the door to communist control of this mineral rich region. CIA agent Larry Devlin received 100,000 dollars from the Agency along with telegraphed instructions to make the “elimination of Lumumba ”the “priority goal” of his covert action.
Within months of becoming Prime Minister, Lumumba was ousted by an army coup, inspired by the West. It was led by a turncoat colonel, Désiré Mobutu who would be the Congo’s military dictator for the next 30 years. In early December 1960, Patrice Lumumba and two of his Ministers were killed by members of the Belgian Secret Service. None of the murderers -or the men behind them -has ever been indicted, but Lumumba’s voice still echoes throughout Africa today. A Film by Thomas Giefer
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