On this day in 1961, officials in the province of Katanga announced that the man who'd served from June to September 1960 as Congo's 1st Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba, was dead. It was claimed that Lumumba (below left) had been "killed by villagers trying to take him into custody"; however, years later that was deemed not to be the whole truth. According to the BBC:
A Belgian Government inquiry into the murders reported in November 2001 that they would not have taken place without the complicity of Belgian and American intelligence services.
In February 2002 the Belgian Government made its first official apology for its part in the assassinations and has set up a $3m fund to encourage democracy and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I wonder how things would be if the US hadn't gotten involved, killed one of the bright lights in DRC's history and propped up a dictator for 37 years, repeating the reign of Leopold's terror? Why did we think Lumumba was a bad idea? Oh, wait, he didn't want us interfering...
...I wonder why.