- Sputnik Africa, 1920
Second Russia–Africa Summit
The Second Summit Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum will take place in St. Petersburg from July 27-28.The First Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum was held in the Russian resort city of Sochi in October 2019.

Son of Patrice Lumumba: Russia Never Made Inhabitants of Other Countries Slaves, Unlike the West

CC0 / Herbert Behrens (ANEFO) / Patrice Lumumba in Brussels (1960).
Patrice Lumumba in Brussels (1960). - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 29.07.2023
Sputnik had a chance to talk to Roland Lumumba, son of the famous Congolese freedom figter, at the second Russia–Africa Summit in St. Petersburg.
The son of African independence fighter Patrice Lumumba Roland told Sputnik that African countries had a serious residue from colonization, while at the same time Russia never made the inhabitants of other countries slaves.

"The relationship between Africa and the West is what we have experienced: they colonized us, made us slaves. If we talk about Russia, it has never colonized any country, and historically we don’t have this sediment. When Africa became independent, Russia, at the time the USSR, helped many of us," Lumumba Jr. said at the Russia–Africa Summit.

He added that African countries have "matured" and can do what they need themselves – like the United States or other states.

"We can establish relations with those countries with which we want, and observe our own interests, not those of others," he stressed.

Talking about modern Europe, Lumumba noted that he had encountered racism there, in particular in France, and suggests that this phenomenon does not exist in Russia.
"I lived in Europe for a while and I can talk about it: yes, I met with racism. I studied in Paris, studied law and eventually became a lawyer. And speaking of racism, I think it exists in France," Lumumba said.
Answering a question about racism in Russia, he said that he doubted the existence of this phenomenon in the country.

"I haven't lived in Russia, but I haven't heard about racism in it. Even if it exists, I do not know about it. Nevertheless, Russia was one of the first countries that immortalized the name of Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University of Russia bears his name. I do not think that such a country can be called racist, this act of perpetuation speaks directly about it," Roland added.

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The son of African independence fighter Patrice Lumumba, who was brutally murdered with the participation of Belgian officers, told Sputnik that he was able to forgive Belgium, but not forget what happened to his father. Also, according to him, getting Patrice Lumumba's tooth – the only thing left of him – was difficult, and the family had to engage in legal proceedings for 10 years.
Patrice Lumumba became the first Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in June 1960. He opposed the internal separatism and armed aggression of the Belgian colonialists. In September, he was removed from power with the participation of the metropolitan states, and then taken to Katanga and killed. According to the conclusions of a special commission of the Belgian parliament, Patrice Lumumba and his associates were shot by Katangese soldiers under the command of Belgian officers. Later, they buried the corpses, but the next day they dug them up, dismembered and dissolved in acid, burning the remains. In 1966, Lumumba was officially proclaimed a national hero of the Republic of the Congo. Belgian authorities returned his gold-crowned tooth to the DRC in June 2022.

"It was not so easy for us to get my father's tooth, we sued people who were involved in his murder for about 10 years. For ten years there was a lawsuit, many of the accomplices in the crime died, as a result, only one remained – a policeman who was involved in the murder of Patrice Lumumba. For him, my father's tooth was a war trophy, he spoke openly about it on television, but then he began to claim that he had actually thrown it into the ocean," Lumumba Jr. said.

After that policeman's death, he added, the family went to court again, and Lumumba's tooth was eventually found by the officer's daughter. Roland Lumumba said that according to African traditions, until the body is burned in accordance with customs, the soul does not find peace.

"In Africa, when someone dies, we believe that in order for his soul to find peace of mind, the body must be burned. And if someone dies away from home, then we take away the body, or at least part of it – hair, nails," he added.

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Lumumba Jr. managed to forgive the murderers of his father and all of Belgium, but the memory of what happened remained.
"We can forgive, but we cannot forget. We need to remember and know what happened," he stressed.
According to Lumumba Jr., the killers of his father did not regret what they did.

"They didn’t feel any regret. I don’t know how much you need to hate a person to kill him so cruelly – so much that there will be nothing left of him but a tooth. And I don’t feel sorry for them," he said.

Nevertheless, Roland Lumumba emphasized, the new generation of Belgians is already different: they expressed regret about what had happened, as was stated by the country's prime minister and even King Philippe.
As a result, Lumumba's tooth was burned, as follows African traditions, in Kinshasa, on June 30, 2022 the Independence Day of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lumumba Jr. said.
The second RussiaAfrica Summit and Economic and Humanitarian Forum was held on July 27-28 in St. Petersburg. Sputnik is a media partner of the event.