British peer reveals MI6 role in Lumumba killing
Posted on April 1st, 2013

Courtesy The Hindu

The British intelligence services may have just had one of their best-kept secrets blown: their role in the abduction and assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first democratically elected prime minister whose Pan-African nationalism and pro-Moscow leanings alarmed the West.

For more than 50 years, rumours have swirled over allegations of British involvement in Lumumba’s brutal murder in 1961, but nothing has ever been proved “”‚ leaving the CIA and its Belgian peers alone to take the rap for what a Belgian writer has described as “the most important assassination of the 20th century.” Now, in a dramatic revelation, a senior British politician has claimed that he got it from the horse’s mouth that it was MI6 that “did” it.

Patrice LulumbA

In a little noticed letter to the editor in the latest issue of the London Review of Books (LRB), Lord David Edward Lea responded to the claim in a new book on British intelligence, Empire of Secrets: British intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire by Calder Walton, that the jury is still out on Britain’s role in Lumumba’s death. “The question remains whether British plots to assassinate Lumumba “¦ ever amounted to anything. At present, we do not know,” writes Walton.

Patrice lumumba

Lord Lea retorted: “Actually, in this particular case, I can report that we do. It so happens that I was having a cup of tea with Daphne Park”¦ She had been consul and first secretary in Leopoldville, now Kinshasa, from 1959 to 1961, which in practice (this was subsequently acknowledged) meant head of MI6 there. I mentioned the uproar surrounding Lumumba’s abduction and murder, and recalled the theory that MI6 might have had something to do with it. “ƒ”¹…”We did,’ she replied, “ƒ”¹…”I organised it.'”

According to Lord Lea, she contended that if the West had not intervened, Lumumba would have handed over Congo’s “”‚ now called Democratic Republic of Congo “”‚ rich mineral deposits to the Russians. When contacted by The Hindu, Lord Lea confirmed the contents of his letter to the LRB and that the conversation over tea took place a few months before Ms. Park died in 2010. “That’s the conversation I had with her and that’s what she told me. I have nothing more to add,” he said when asked if he had any other independent confirmation of Ms. Park’s claim.

Ms. Park was a career intelligence officer who served in Kinshasa (then Leopoldville) between 1959 and 1961. On retirement, she was made a Life peer as Baroness Park of Monmouth. Her fellow peers in the House of Lords referred to her as a spokesperson for the Secret Intelligence Service. She was also briefly head of Somerville College, Oxford University.

There has been no comment from MI6 on Lord Lea’s revelation. “We don’t comment on intelligence matters,” an official said.

Lumumba, hailed as “the hero of Congolese independence” from Belgium in 1960, was shot dead on January 17, 1961 after being toppled in a US-Belgian backed military coup barely two months after being in office.

Lumumba had been sheltered by Rajeshwar Dayal “”‚ the Indian diplomat who was the UN Secretary General’s representative in the Congo “”‚ for several days but was captured and killed soon after he chose to leave the compound. “This heinous crime was a culmination of two inter-related assassination plots by American and Belgian governments, which used Congolese accomplices and a Belgian execution squad to carry out the deed,” wrote Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, a specialist on African and Afro-American studies and author of The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History.

Declassified American documents from the time have established Washington’s role in covert assassination plots “”‚ the most famous being a CIA plot to poison Lumumba’s toothbrush by smuggling poisoned toothpaste into his bathroom.

“The toothpaste never made it into Lumumba’s bathroom. I threw it in the Congo River,” Larry Devlin, the CIA station chief in Leopoldville, later said.

Not much is publicly known about UK role. But, in 2000, the BBC reported that in the autumn of 1960 “”‚ three months before Lumumba was murdered “”‚ an MI5 operative in the British embassy in Leopoldville suggested “Lumumba’s removal from the scene by killing him.”

Keywords: Patrice LumumbaBritish intelligence servicesMI6Lumumba assasinationDemocratic Republic of the CongoCongolese indipendenceLord David Edward Lea

 

3 Responses to “British peer reveals MI6 role in Lumumba killing”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    We can criticize this but that won’t help.

    We should DO SAME – eliminate our enemies. We have TNA, etc., etc. trying to give SL resources to Endians. What should we do?

  2. helaya Says:

    Good Idea Lorenzo

  3. mario_perera Says:

    ‘We should DO SAME – eliminate our enemies.’

    Absolutely true. In a world where immorality is its soul , even immorality should not be the monopoly of the ‘angels of darkness’ posing as ‘angels of light’. The motto should be ‘what you can do, we can do better’.

    The attack on the TNA meeting was right. The TNA wants the disintegration of the unitary state of Lanka. They are traitors, and agents of Tamil Nadu. Did they say one world of protest when Buddhist monks were assaulted in TN? Not at all. What TN can do to their self conceived enemies, the State of Sri Lanka can do to its own enemies. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, as the saying goes.

    One world about Sumanthiran. He is trying to pose as the new G.G.Ponnambalam of Tamil politics though he cannot lick the latter’s feet. What GG did and how GG fared is known to all. His violent rhetoric was a key factor in the Tamil Terrorist movement. Sumanthiran is growing too big for his shoes and must be cut down to size. The attack on the TNA should be considered the beginning of the process of apprenticeship for Sumanthiran and the like minded. If TN can do it to us, we can do it to TN agents operating on our soil.

    Everything conceivable must done to scuttle the September Northern PC elections. For the TNA and TN and for the men behind these masks, the Indian Central Government and its white Plundering Partners, the certain victory of the TNA will be considered a referendum for separatism. The means to bury that ambition has been stated over and over again and awaits execution: the abolition of the 13A, and the settlement of Sinhalese in the North. That is the way, there is no other.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

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