The family of Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba has welcomed a court ruling that said his tooth should be returned to his family.
Lumumba’s nephew Jean Jacques Lumumba said the move is “a good step” of what happened.
“[Lumumba] is a hero who we never buried, the decision [of a Belgium court] is a good step to know the truth…there will be phases to get there,” said Jacques.
Jacques said two men who were killed alongside Lumumba, Joseph Okito and Maurice Mpolo, “are also Congo heroes” and the truth about their assassination should come out as well.
A Belgian court rules that a tooth taken from Lumumba’s corpse be given to his daughter Juliana – who had written a letter to the Belgian king asking for its return.
Lumumba, who became Congo’s first prime minister after it gained independence from Belgium in 1960, was murdered in 1961 after he was abducted by separatist fighters.
Lumumba’s tooth is thought to have been taken by a Belgian policeman who was helping to dispose of the body.
It was later seized by the Belgian authorities.