gosh, this ship is so cute. just like with my Big otp, these two are only early bosses with little to no information or backstory, but i think that makes it a lot more fun! interpretation is always nice and i’m glad there’s been so much good fluff of these two since lolk was released.. i just want them to go out on a lot of cute dates together and to be affectionate and cuddly and happy
Fifty-five years ago, Congo’s first democratically elected
prime minister was assassinated by rebels working closely with Belgium
and the United States. The unpunished crime is a symbol of the continual
murder perpetrated on Congolese soil.
In January 1961, Patrice Lumumba, the post-colonial African
leader who believed in a “Congo united in a united Africa,” was
Belgium, the former colonial power, had “inherited” this huge country
of more than 2.5 million square kilometers from the bloody hands of
King Leopold II, who had claimed Congo as his own private property
during the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 in which Europeans divided
By the mid-20th century, the Belgian Kingdom began to provide a kind
of independence to an elite few it deemed “civilized,” granting this
status to a couple thousand Congolese. But the long wave of
decolonization and liberation movements swept across Africa, and by June
1960, King Baudouin was forced to declare independence for Congo.
The young Lumumba, then secretary general of the Congolese National
Movement, won the first free and democratic elections and became head of
government. His first political policy was to adhere the Republic of
the Congo to the “non-aligned” movement, thus establishing the nation’s
unwillingness to be part of the Cold War bipolarization imposed on every
His speech on the “symbolic decolonization,” mediated by the theories
of philosopher Frantz Fanon, remains one of the cornerstones of
Pan-Africanism of the last century. Lumumba’s positions were already
sufficient motivation for the West to trigger the terrible civil war
after a few months of the prime minister’s term. First was the secession
of Katanga, the mining region in the south of the country, followed by
rebellion in Kivu, on the border with Rwanda and Burundi.
The Katangese rebels, supported by the secret services of the United
States and Belgium, after months of ferocious attacks across the country
and in the capital Kinshasa, kidnapped Lumumba, whisked him to the
south and killed him. Later, his body was exhumed, dismembered and
dissolved in acid.
But his political story, before its tragic epilogue, assumed an
international dimension. As head of a legitimate government, in fact,
Lumumba was the first leader in African history to call the United
Nations to his aid to try to resolve the conflict according to the new
post-war international rules.
U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold decided to intervene
personally in the Congolese civil war because he understood the stakes.
The Congo Crisis was the first real test for a U.N. system seeking to
exercise its role as “world government.” In September 1961, he boarded a
plane to the Congo to direct the U.N.’s peacekeeping mission, but the
plane crashed, killing everyone on board. Theories abound that the crash
was not an accident, including that the CIA sabotaged the aircraft.
After Hammarskjold’s death, the U.N. withdrew and the power of the
multilateral body was weakened.
After a few months of civil war (which included the participation of
Che Guevara), Lumumba was killed and therefore also the danger of an
un-aligned Congo or, worse, a Congo in the hands of the Soviets.
A Lumumba lieutenant named Joseph Desiré Mobutu, who had aided
Belgian-American spies against his boss, was appointed head of state,
inaugurating a kleptocratic dictatorship. When the single-party
government of “Zaire” died with Mobutu 30 years later, the country was
impoverished and fragile in every way.
The “garden” of Leopold II
Since the days of Lumumba and even before Congo was Leopold II’s
personal garden, this land was earmarked as a “geographical expanse” at
the disposal of Western interests, without regard to the views of its
At the time of Leopold II, the “civilizing mission” included trade in
ivory, gold and precious wood, as Joseph Conrad recounts in his novel Heart of Darkness.
In World War II, however, the West identified something even more
important — the mines of Katanga supplied the uranium inside the bombs
dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Later, during Mobutu’s long dictatorship, it was essential for
Western companies to maintain access to Congo’s huge amounts of copper,
diamonds and, more recently, coltan.
Even Mobutu’s successor, former Lumumba supporter Laurent-Desiré
Kabila, clear of American influence after the death of the old dictator
and supported by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, could not overcome
industrial forces. When he tried to review mining contracts, inspired by
his socialist vision, he was murdered by a child soldier in his
security detail and his more malleable son rose to power.
The open veins of Africa
Lately, the confused geopolitical management of ongoing civil war in
the east of the country is a legacy of that first war waged against
Lumumba by Western interests. It completes the picture of the
enslavement of this land to the interests of Western, Chinese and Indian
“vacuum pumps” that continue to suck blood from Congo’s veins while the
country and the Congolese die, from hunger, war and AIDS. Humanitarian
organizations estimate that there are about 4 million internal refugees
and 1 million victims of the civil war.
If Foucault were alive he would certainly find an example of his
definition of biopolitics and the sovereign power, exercising its right
“to make live and let die.”
From this perspective, Lumumba’s assassination is only a symbol, a
paradigmatic image that embodies all the other murders, past and
ongoing, perpetrated on the living body of this beautiful, terrible
land. And yet, the power of life still flows in the battered body of
Congo. Even though Africa seems overwhelmed by death and exploitation,
the proud gaze of Lumumba in his final photograph still peers far beyond
the heart the darkness.