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Family of DR Congo’s first PM robbed, daughter attacked

Patrice Lumumba

Kinshasa, DR Congo | AFP | The family of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s late independence hero, Patrice Lumumba, said their Kinshasa home was burgled by soldiers on Friday and his daughter Juliana attacked and injured.

“Five soldiers managed to get through the barrier” at the Lumumba family residence at 1:00 am (2300 GMT Thursday), said Francois Lumumba, eldest son of the first Congolese prime minister.

During the robbery Juliana, his younger sister, tried to resist the intruders and was “hit on the head and sides with a rifle butt,” he said in a statement, adding that the attackers fled with “personal effects and a sum of money.”

Robberies and kidnappings have become increasingly common in DR Congo in the upmarket Kinshasa district of Gombe, which houses business headquarters and foreign embassies.

Patrice Lumumba was the first lawfully elected premier of the Congo who is viewed as a hero across Africa for his role in the continent’s struggle for independence from Belgium.

He was deposed in a coup barely 12 weeks after his June 1960 election, and subsequently arrested and executed by firing squad in a murky Cold War era episode said to have involved the CIA.

DR Congo is now suffering a new political crisis, after current President Joseph Kabila refused to quit office in line with the constitution at the end of his second elected five-year term, which expired last December.

Last month the country’s electoral commission said it would not be possible to organise elections this year in the vast and troubled country.

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