Anniversary Of Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba’s Assassination

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are several holidays that are dedicated to remembering the assassinations of various leaders, which should be a good indicator of the type of political and social upheaval that the country has had to suffer with over the years.

One of these holidays is the Anniversary Of Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba’s Assassination, a public holiday that’s observed in the country on the 17th of January. This holiday remembers a leader who fought for Congo’s independence, for social justice, and for internationalism. On January 17th, 1961, he was tortured and then executed along with several other Congolese leaders.

The History Of Anniversary Of Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba’s Assassination

Patrice Lumumba was born on July 2nd, 1925 in Katakombe in the Belgian Congo. He belonged to the Tetela ethnic group and was raised Catholic. During his regular studies at various Protestant and Catholic schools, he took an interest in Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as well as Victor Hugo and Molière.

He would take work as a beer salesman in Leopoldville and then took a job as a postal clerk. In 1951, he married his wife, Pauline Opangu, and the following year he would work as a personal assistant for French sociologist Pierre Clement. In 1955, he would join the Liberal party of Belgium and edited and distributed literature of the party. In 1956, he was arrested for embezzlement and was convicted and sentenced to a year imprisonment.

He would become Prime Minister of the Republic of Congo from June of 1960 to September 5th of 1960. After the military coup of Mobutu, Lumumba tried to escape to Stanleyville to join his supporters who had established the Free Republic of the Congo, but he was captured and imprisoned. He was handed over to Katangan officials who then tortured and executed him.

Observing Anniversary Of Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba’s Assassination

Because this is a public holiday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s a non-working day, and many institutions and businesses are closed. It’s also a day on which memorial services are held for Lumumba all over the country.

Where is it celebrated?
Congo Democratic Republic (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
January 17 Tuesday
Next year (2024)
January 17 Wednesday
Last year (2022)
January 17 Monday