Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the democratically-elected prime minister of the Republic of the Congo (formerly; also formerly Zaire and now the DRC). Adam Hochschild, who wrote King Leopold's Ghost, has a nice little opinion piece over at the Times. Lumumba's assassination, for me, is one of the saddest moments in African post-colonial history, the doorway that opened to the chaos, violence, and oppression that has ensued in the Congolese region in the last fifty years. In fact, Lumumba was one of the only rays of hope in over a century of atrocities by Belgians and then by local leaders, Mobutu Sese Seko/Joseph Mobutu foremost among them. I also think it's important to acknowledge the involvement of the United States (and Belgium, of course) in the assassination of Lumumba and destabilization of the Congo. Anyway, take a gander.