Patrice Lumumba


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Congolese nationalist and politician. He founded the influential MNC (Mouvement National Congolais) in 1958 to bring together radical nationalists. He was accused of instigating public violence and was gaoled by the Belgians, but was released to participate in the Brussels Conference (January 1960) on the Congo. He became Prime Minister and Minister of Defence when the Congo became independent in June 1960. Sections of the army mutinied, the Belgian troops returned, and Katanga province declared its independence. Lumumba appealed to the United Nations, which sent a peacekeeping force. President Kasavubu, his rival in power, dismissed him and shortly afterwards he was put under arrest by Colonel Mobutu. He escaped, but was recaptured and killed.

Subjects: African Studies — History.

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