Exactly 60 years ago, on 17th January 1961, the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 35-year-old Patrice Lumumba, was tortured and then assassinated by members of the Belgian Secret Service. Four months earlier, he had been ousted in a coup that was led by Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, his former Chief of Staff of the Army, and backed by Belgium, the United States, and the United Nations. Shortly before he was killed, Lumumba wrote the following letter to his wife, Pauline Opango.
Thank you for bringing this little known or forgotten history to light. I cried while reading Lumumba’s letter to his wife, Patrice. Tomorrow we in the U.S. honor a peaceful warrior in Martin Luther King who was assassinated just 7 years later. I pray for our world.