Brussels recently named a square in honour of one of the former Belgian Congo’s leaders for independence: Patrice Lumumba. Stationed near Porte de Namur at the entrance of the largely Congolese Matonge district, the name officially changed and a tribute plaque to the leader of the independent Congo inaugurated on June 30. 100,000 euros issued for a work of art is to be added in the coming months.
Associations have been calling for a tribute to Patrice Lumumba in Brussels for several years, and now this Saturday, their efforts were realised. Inaugurated precisely 58 years after Congo gained independence, this symbolic gesture is intended to reflect Belgium’s colonial past and aim to display a leader from the region. A hundred people went to witness the unveiling in the square.
Lumumba served as the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first prime minister in 1960, but after infighting in the newly established cabinet, was executed in 1961. Belgium, along with the US, is suspected in having played a part in it. A parliamentary committee had concluded a moral responsibility that the Belgian government played in the incident.