99. Editorial Note

On November 11, 1961, the report of the U.N. Commission established by General Assembly Resolution 1601 (XV), April 15, 1961, to investigate the circumstances of the death of Patrice Lumumba and his colleagues, was signed at Geneva. The Commission accepted as “substantially true” the evidence indicating that Lumumba, Joseph Okito, and Maurice Mpolo were killed on January 17, 1961, after their arrival at a villa not far from Elizabethville and “in all probability in the presence of high officials of the government of Katanga province, namely Mr. Tshombe, Mr. Munongo, and Mr. Kibwe.” The Commission stated that President Kasavubu and his aides, on the one hand, and the Katanga government headed by Moise Tshombe, on the other, should not escape responsibility for the deaths. Kasavubu and his aides had handed the three prisoners over to Katangan authorities, knowing full well that in doing so they were putting them in the hands of their bitterest political enemies. The Katangan government in turn not only did not safeguard the lives of the prisoners, but also by its actions, directly or indirectly, contributed to their murders. (U.N. doc. A/4964)