Source: Patrice Lumumba, The Truth about a Monstrous Crime of the Colonialists, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961, pp. 99-105.
Written: by Oleg ORESTOV;
Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt.
Yesterday the Council of Ministers of the Congo passed a decision on the expulsion from the country of the former Belgian Ambassador Van den Bosch. He was ordered to leave the country not later than Monday. Minister of Information Kashamura explained to correspondents that diplomatic relations with Belgium had been severed when the Belgians started their aggression against the Congo, but the Ambassador had illegally remained in the country.
Kashamura added that the former Ambassador was carrying on his political activity and making statements that were damaging the interests of the Congo, and the Council of Ministers had, therefore, been compelled to take resolute measures.
On the day before his expulsion Bosch called the Belgian correspondents together and told them that the relations between the Congo and Belgium were governed by an agreement signed on the eve of the Congo's independence and that this agreement could not be annulled unilaterally. The former Ambassador forgot to add that an event like Belgium's armed aggression against the Congo had taken place after the agreement had been signed and that as a result the relations between the two countries could not remain normal. Commenting on this illegal press conference, the newspaper Congo wrote: "The Government decided to close the Belgian Embassy, but the latter is openly laughing at this decision. The Belgian diplomat has the effrontery to assert that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Congo asked him to remain at his disposal." The newspaper added: "The former Belgian Ambassador is scoffing at our independence."
Public opinion in the Congo is continuing to demand that Belgian aggression should be stopped immediately. In a conversation with a group of correspondents, Prime Minister Lumumba declared that the Security Council had condemned the Belgian intervention in the Congo and that he hoped the Secretary-General would fulfil his commitment to clear the country of all Belgian troops within eight days.
Lumumba further stated that he protests against the attempt to leave "technical specialists" in the Congo because that was a mask for Belgian military personnel. He showed the note of protest that had just been sent to R. Bunche, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative in the Congo. In this document Lumumba pointed to a report in the Belgian newspaper La libre Belgique, which stated that 20 Belgian gendarmes were to be sent to Elisabethville as "technical aid to Katanga". Lumumba was surprised that Belgian gendarmes were being sent to the country as "technical aid" on the eve of the withdrawal of Belgian troops from Katanga and the dismantling of military bases there. He demanded that the U.N. should forbid their departure for the Congo as that would be a violation of the Security Council's resolution.
Some days ago Belgian military personnel arrived in the port of Matadi and high-handedly announced they had come for the military vehicles they had left behind. They were at once arrested by the Congolese police. Speaking of this incident to correspondents, a U.N. representative was forced to admit that there was an "understanding" between the Belgians and R. Bunche under which the Belgian military were allowed to return to the Congo for their "property". The U.N. representative claimed that Bunche had not had time to notify the Congolese authorities.
In Leopoldville yesterday the police arrested seven armed Belgians and turned them over to the security forces. These men were employees of the Sabena Airlines and had been making for the border. Today the police discovered three Belgians operating an illegal radio transmitter in a house in the heart of the city. Weapons were found in the house. The arrival of a large contingent of police saved the spies from the angry crowds of Congolese.
The colonialists are aiding and abetting each other. A French aircraft has just landed in Kasai Province with emissaries of the traitor Tshombe and Belgian agents who plan to distribute arms to the local tribes and foment fresh disorders.
In reply to our questions Lumumba said that the Secretary-General has denied military assistance to the Republic of the Congo, and the Congolese people have decided to take action and restore order in the country themselves. Large contingents of the Congolese Army had already been dispatched to Kasai Province, where an armed clash inspired by agents of the imperialists had broken out between the tribes. "Our government," Lumumba said, "is morally bound to protect the population of Katanga Province even if the U.N. considers that its forces cannot 'interfere' in the matter. We are confident that we shall have the full backing of Katanga's population, which is whole-heartedly supporting the Central Government." The Prime Minister added that the puppet Tshombe regime would collapse as soon as Belgian troops would leave the military bases and Katanga Province.
All the newspapers are carrying alarming reports that Lumumba, who was seriously wounded by Mobutu's bandits, is being held in unbearable conditions in a military camp in Thysville. Reports from the Congo state that Mobutu's brigands had shaved his head and were keeping him imprisoned with his hands tied despite his serious wounds.
This time, too, U.N. representatives did nothing to save Lumumba. After arresting Lumumba, the self-appointed Colonel Mobutu became more arrogant than ever. Backed by the U.S.A., Belgium and other Western Powers, he now says that he will hold power indefinitely. He told a foreign correspondent that "as a political leader Lumumba is now finished". Mobutu's gangs are continuing their rampage. They attacked the town of Kikwit, where they disarmed the police and butchered the people. Twelve people were killed, more than 30 wounded and the rest of the population fled to the forests.
Mobutu's brazenness is imitated by his supporters under the traitor Kalondji in Kasai Province. Kalondji told Mobutu that he could transfer Lumumba to a jail in Bakwanga, which is controlled by Kalondji's gangs, saying that there he would be out of the reach of the U.N. forces. At the same time Kalondji demanded the arrest of Mkenji, the Prime Minister of the province, for speaking openly against the outrages committed by Mobutu's bandits.
Mobutu and his clique are worried by the news from Orientale Province and its capital, Stanleyville, where the national and genuinely democratic elements are especially strong. According to reports, Stanleyville stood firm against the dictates of Mobutu and the imperialists and was gathering forces to fight for complete independence. Frightened by this news, Mobutu made the delirious statement that if the U.A.R. and the Sudan support the national forces in Stanleyville he will "block the channels of the Nile's tributaries". The lunatic "colonel" announced: "In the last resort I will turn my army into an army of navvies and stop the water from flowing in the Nile."
According to people coming to Ghana from Leopoldville, the Congolese capital has been turned into an inferno. Today your correspondent interviewed E. Muenge who was in the Congo with a Ghanian technical aid team and has just returned to Accra. Asked what the situation was like in Leopoldville now, he said:
"After the Soviet Embassy and the representatives of the socialist countries left the Congo, Mobutu began his campaign against the independent African countries. By that time he had closed all the national progressive newspapers. Only two newspapers are being published and they are run by the Catholic priests and obvious Belgian stooges. This 'press' has launched a vile campaign against Ghana, Guinea, the U.A.R., Morocco and India. A Mobutu 'security officer' came to Welbeck, the Ghanian diplomatic representative, and handed him an 'order' to remove the Ghanian Embassy from the Congo. We were astonished to see that this order had been signed by President Kasavubu earlier. He was in New York when the incident occurred. This confirmed that Kasavubu had acted jointly with Mobutu and had prepared the ground so that during the attack on the Ghanian Embassy he would not be in the Congo and would be able to deny that he bore any responsibility. On November 21, Mobutu sent lorries filled with troops to the residence of the Ghanian Ambassador. Tunisian units of the U.N. force also arrived on the scene and when 'Colonel' Kokolo, Mobutu's right-hand man, tried to enter the house they stopped him. When that happened Mobutu's soldiers opened fire on the Tunisians. Kokolo made an attempt to get into the house through a window and was shot dead by U.N. soldiers. The firing lasted all evening and night until dawn. Nathaniel Welbeck left the Congo after receiving instructions to do so from his government. It is characteristic that the U.N. leaders did nothing to protect even the Leopoldville aerodrome against Mobutu's gangs. Some time ago they prevented representatives of Lumumba's Government from entering the aerodrome and even threatened to open fire if Lumumba officers appeared there. But now they calmly stand by and watch Mobutu's men lording it in the aerodrome, threatening the pilots of incoming aircraft, searching the aircraft and laying down the law as to which aircraft 'can' land in Leopoldville and which 'cannot'. After the departure of the Ghanian Embassy a similar campaign was started against the Embassy of the U.A.R. Attacks are planned against the embassies of other African countries, Guinea and Morocco in particular."