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Brussels approves plan for Patrice Lumumba square

22:27 24/04/2018

Brussels city council has unanimously approved a plan to name a square next to the Porte de Namur in honour of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The square, on the corner of the Chaussée d'Ixelles and Rue du Champ de Mars, is on the edge of the Matonge district and will be inaugurated on 30 June on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of Congo's independence from Belgium. Several linked events will also be held at Brussels city hall to mark the occasion.

The council's decision was applauded by members of the city's Congolese community who had attended the meeting on Monday night.

Lumumba was instrumental in gaining Congolese independence from the former Belgian colony. After just over two months in office during the summer of 1960, he was assassinated by the Katangan state, a Congolese break-away movement supported and funded by the Belgian state.

Belgian authorities were involved in the torture and eventual murder of Lumumba and two of his political associates. The act is one of the most painful political memories in 20th-century Belgium.