Born: Onalua, Belgian Congo [now Democratic Republic of the Congo]
Patrice Émery Lumumba (alternatively styled Patrice Hemery Lumumba) (2 July 1925 – 17 January 1961) was a Congolese independence leader and the first democratically elected prime minister of Congo. Lumumba played an important role for his country to be granted independence from Belgium, as a founder and leader of the mainstream Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) party, Shortly after Congolese independence in 1960, a mutiny broke out in the army, marking the beginning of the Congo Crisis. Lumumba appealed to the United States and the United Nations for assistance to suppress the Belgian-supported Katangan secessionists. Both parties refused, so Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for support. This led to growing differences with President Joseph Kasa-Vubu and chief-of-staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, as well as the foreign opposition of the United States and Belgium. Lumumba was subsequently imprisoned by state authorities under Mobutu and executed by a firing squad under the command of Katangan authorities. The United Nations, which he had asked to come to the Congo, did not intervene to save him. Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all been accused of involvement in Lumumba's death. In 2002 Belgium recognised its involvement in the killing and apologised to Lumumba's family and the people of Congo. In 2014, the United States also recognised the CIA's active involvement.
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