Patrice Lumumba

From a letter to the President of the Security Council

August 1, 1960

Source: Patrice Lumumba: Fighter for Africa’s Freedom, Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1961, pp 46-8..
Written: by Patrice Lumumba;
Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt.

The trend of events in the Congo is causing my Government serious concern.....

The Belgian Government promised to withdraw its troops from the Congo as soon as the United Nations troops reached there.

United Nations troops have been arriving in the Congo since July 16, but not a single Belgian soldier has left Congolese soil.

We are at present confronted with a deliberate refusal by the Belgian Government to comply with the decisions of the highest international authority, the Security Council.

The Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of the Congo informs me in a telegram recently received in New York, a copy of which is attached, that the Congolese soldiers are being disarmed, whereas the Belgian soldiers are remaining in the territory together with all their arms. I would particularly draw your attention to the fact that no contingent of United Nations troops has so far entered Katanga, because this is opposed by the Belgian Government solely in order to strengthen the secession movement it has instigated in this province using Tshombe as a screen, in contravention of the relevant resolutions adopted by the Security Council.

There is now no justification whatever for the presence of Belgian military forces in the Congo.

The arguments put forward by the Belgian Government for the maintenance of its troops in the Congo contrary to the decisions of the Security Council are merely false pretexts. The Belgian Government's intention is to disorganise the country and involve our Government and our people in numerous economic and financial difficulties.

To give just one example, the Belgian Government recently removed our gold reserves which were in our Central Bank in the Congo. Such measures of economic strangulation are taking place in many other sectors.

I would also inform you that the people of Katanga emphatically repudiate the attempts at secession, which the Belgian Government is in the process of organising in that province with the help of a number of collaborators, among whom is Mr. Tshombe. The present objective of the Belgian Government and of a few groups which support it, is to bring about the division of the Congo in orderto obtain a hold over our country. The paramount problem in the Congo is that of the immediate withdrawal of all Belgian troops from Congolese territory.

I reserve the right to request a meeting of the Security Council to consider whatever measures may prove necessary.

P. LUMUMBA, Prime Minister