Lumumba | 2001
The story of political leader Patrice Lumumba, Congo's first prime minister, who helped lead his country to independence from Belgium in the late 1950s. Lumumba's vision of a united Africa earned him powerful enemies: the Belgian authorities, who wanted a much more paternal role in their former colony's affairs, and the CIA, who supported Lumumba's former friend Joseph Mobutu, in order to protect U.S. business interests in Congo's vast resources and maintain their upper hand in the Cold War power balance. During the tenuous first six months of Congo's independence, when civil war threatened to erupt, Lumumba tried to quell hostilities but was eventually betrayed by Mobutu, whom he had appointed as head of the army. In 1961, with several conspiracies occuring at once, Lumumba met a brutal death--a mere nine months after becoming the country's first Prime Minister.