Thx 12-4.pdf - Killing Lumumba Author(s BRUCE KUKLICK...

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Killing Lumumba Author(s): BRUCE KUKLICK Source: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 158, No. 2 (JUNE 2014), pp. 144-152 Published by: American Philosophical Society Stable URL: Accessed: 23-11-2019 18:44 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at American Philosophical Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society This content downloaded from 129.174.21.5 on Sat, 23 Nov 2019 18:44:14 UTC All use subject to
Killing Lumumba1 BRUCE KUKLICK Professor of History University of Pennsylvania At the end of June of 1960, Belgium hurriedly relinquished its vast colony of the Congo to the first democratically elected African government. Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, a talented and unrestrained nationalist, led the new Republic of the Congo. A flamboyant and charismatic leader, Lumumba had high hopes as a pan-Africanist for directing his new country into an honored place on the continent and in the world political community. But stability in the just-born country immediately broke down. Uncontrolled, the Congo's army mutinied and spread havoc rather than peace. The military from Belgium intervened to protect its nationals and to gain some power over Lumumba; the Europeans quickly came to detest his brashness, volatility, and lack of deference. In the far southeast of the county, Katanga Province—always suspicious of a centralized nationalism, and especially of Lumumba's fervor—took the opportunity to declare its own independence, seceding from the Republic. In desperation, the Congo's leaders at once asked the United Nations to get Belgium out, to end the secession, and to put Lumumba's army in good order. By mid-to-late July, peace-keeping troops from fourteen countries had arrived, and ultimately numbered 20,000 as many as in the local military. Fearful of instability in Africa and of the influence of Communism on Lumumba, the United States maneuvered behind the scenes, fretting about the extension of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and America to Africa. In January of 1961, six months after independence, Lumumba was tortured and murdered in breakaway Katanga. 1 This essay derives from a lecture delivered at the meeting of the American Philosophical Society on 19 April 2012 and retains some of the informality of that lecture. A more complete exposition of the events surrounding the murder and a fuller interpretation of its meaning can be found in Emmanuel Gerard and Bruce Kuklick, Death in the Congo: Murdering Patrice Lumumba (Cambridge M.A.: Harvard University Press, 2015).

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