The Lumumba Assassination and CIA Accountability | Wilson Center
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The Lumumba Assassination and CIA Accountability

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For 50 years, controversy has swirled over alleged U.S. Government responsibility for the assassination of the former Belgian Congo’s democratically elected Prime Minister. New analysis of documents, memoirs and interviews shows that the CIA Congo Station Chief was an influential participant in the Congo Government's decision to “render” Lumumba to his bitter enemies in secessionist Katanga. Significantly, the Lumumba case illuminates some of the reasons behind the lack of adequate accountability in contemporary covert action.

Stephen R. Weissman is the author of American Foreign Policy in the Congo 1960–1964 (1974) and A Culture of Deference: Congress’s Failure of Leadership in Foreign Policy (1961). He has been a political science professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, Fordham University, and the Université Libre du Congo. He served on the staff of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa from 1979 to 1991 (the last four years as staff director).


Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop
Reservations requested because of limited seating: or 202-691-4166


  • Stephen Weissman

  • Christian F. Ostermann

    Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center