Patrice Lumumba


Washington, July 28, 1960, TASS

Source: Patrice Lumumba, The Truth about a Monstrous Crime of the Colonialists, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961, pp. 53-55.
Written: by Patrice Lumumba;
Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt.


Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, who is now in Washington, gave the following interview to a TASS correspondent.

Question: How, in your opinion, is the U.N. Security Council decision on the rapid withdrawal of Belgian troops from the Congo being fulfilled?

Answer: Belgium has already proved that she has no respect for Security Council decisions. The Belgian Government is continuing its aggressive actions and savage reprisals against our people. It will be recalled that as far back as July 14, the Security Council demanded in a resolution that Belgian troops should leave the Congo; it sent U.N. armed forces to our country to back up this decision. But since then not a single Belgian soldier has left the territory of the Congo. Every day the troops of the Belgian colonialists kill soldiers of our national army and massacre hundreds of Congolese civilians. These facts are not widely known in the world because the Belgian colonialists have got the press of other Western countries to write as little as possible about the doings of Belgian soldiers in the Congo.

Our government and Parliament have from the very first demanded that Belgian troops should leave the Congo. The pertinent Soviet proposal tabled in the Security Council was the only proposal fully conforming to our people's interests. We continue to demand and declare that the immediate withdrawal of Belgian troops is the only way of restoring law and order in the Congo. That is why we ask all democratic and peace-loving countries to support our demand. The last Belgian soldier should have left the Congo long ago. The U. N. troops, which arrived to ensure implementation of the Security Council's resolution, have now been in the Congo for over a fortnight. But the situation has not changed. I must say that the Security Council's resolutions are being fulfilled anything but properly, although the Council had already passed two resolutions—on July 14 and 22—on the need to withdraw Belgian troops from the Congo. Such a small country as Belgium allows herself to behave in this way only because the Congo now lacks the weapons to throw out the Belgian colonialists.

Question: What is the situation in Katanga? What is your opinion of Katanga's so-called secession from the Congo recently announced by Mr. Tshombe?

Answer: There has never been a Katanga problem as such. The gist of the matter is that the imperialists want to lay their hands on our country's riches and to continue exploiting our people. The imperialists have always had their agents in the colonial countries. Tshombe, in particular, is an agent of the Belgian imperialists. Everything he says and writes is not his own. He merely mouths the words of the Belgian colonialists. It is well known that Tshombe is an ex-businessman who has long since thrown in his lot with the colonial companies in the Congo. But very few people know that just recently, as a result of dishonest machinations and overdrafts, Tshombe owed Belgian companies in the Congo more than ten million Belgian francs. He was arrested and was to be tried. But in view of the situation that took shape, Tshombe was "pardoned" and released by the Belgians and since then he has been obediently carrying out all their orders.

Question: What is the Congolese people's view of the Soviet Union's stand on the Congo's struggle to attain genuine independence and territorial integrity?

Answer: The Soviet Union was the only Great Power whose stand conformed to our people's will and desire. That is why the Soviet Union was the only Great Power which has all along been supporting the Congolese people's struggle. I should like to convey the heartfelt gratitude of the entire Congolese people to the Soviet people and to Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchov personally for your country's timely and great moral support to the young Republic of the Congo in its struggle against the imperialists and colonialists. I should also like to thank the Soviet Union for the assistance in food which it is extending to the Congo.