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Patrice Lumumba square unveiled near Matonge

05:44 02/07/2018

Members of Brussels' Congolese community gathered on Saturday for the official renaming of a square in honour of assassinated former Congolese prime minister Patrice Lumumba, on the 58th anniversary of the country's independence from Belgium.

The unveiling comes after a 10-year campaign for Lumumba's work to be recognised in Brussels. An earlier request in Ixelles was blocked.

Lumumba was the first lawfully elected premier of the Democratic Republic of Congo and is seen as a hero across Africa for his role in the continent’s struggle for independence. He was deposed in a coup 12 weeks after his June 1960 election, and subsequently arrested and assassinated by the Katangan state, a Congolese break-away movement supported and funded by the Belgian state.

The City of Brussels voted earlier this year to name a square next to Porte de Namur in the politican's honour and place a commemorative plaque at the site, which is a stone's throw from the Matonge district. A piece of artwork will also be commissioned for the square.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by The Bulletin