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12 Belgians Accused in 1961 Lumumba Killing


The sons of Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba say they will seek war crimes charges against 12 Belgians they accuse of being involved in their father's death, nearly 50 years ago.

Guy Lumumba told reporters in Brussels Tuesday he and his brother will file a complaint against the 12 in a Belgian court in October. The AFP news agency quoted him as saying the 12 Belgians are still alive.

Attorney Christophe Marchand declined to name the potential defendants but said they were all in Congo at the time of Patrice Lumumba's death.

Lumumba was the first democratically-elected leader of Congo, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, after it won independence from Belgium in 1960.

He was soon ousted in a coup by army chief Joseph-Desire Mobutu and murdered by officials in Katanga province in January 1961.

A Belgian parliamentary probe in 2001 concluded that Belgium was "morally responsible" for Lumumba's murder. The government later apologized but there has been no legal action in connection with the case.

News of the lawsuit comes eight days before the DRC celebrates 50 years of independence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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