Shouts of "Uhuru" - freedom - greeted Congolese Senators in Leopoldville, Sept 8, as they left Parliament after rejecting, by 41 votes to two, Prime Minister Lumumba's dismissal by President Kasavubu.
Shouts of "Uhuru" - freedom - greeted Congolese Senators in Leopoldville, Sept 8, as they left Parliament after rejecting, by 41 votes to two, Prime Minister Lumumba's dismissal by President Kasavubu. Having regained the confidence of both Houses within two days. Premier Lumumba held a press conference at his residence, attended by journalists, Ministers and party officials.
Constantly interrupted by more shouts of "Uhuru" and "Down with the United Nations spies", Mr Lumumba demanded the immediate reopening by the United Nations of Leopoldville radio and all airfields in the Congo. If this interference with the Congo's sovereignty did not cease at once, he said, "we shall envisage the immediate withdrawal" of all UN troops from Congo.
He also announced that he had sent a telegram to Mr Hammarskjoeld and the Security Council, asking them to hold the next meeting of the council in Leopoldville in order to see for themselves the conditions in the Congo.
Listing seven "flagrant violations" by the United Nations of the Security Council's decision that they should not interfere in internal affairs, Mr Lumumba declared they had even ventured to interpret the constitution in the Congo. At the same time he rejected allegations of Soviet interference and said his policy was one of neutrality. He would accept aid from anyone if it was without strings - and the aid from the Soviet Union was without strings.
When the Security Council met at short notice in New York, Sept 9, it was to discuss the invasion of Katanga by Lumumba forces. In Leopoldville, Mr Lumumba claimed that he had assumed the duties of President as well as Prime Minister, and was therefore Army C-in-C. The, in a dramatic reversal of the situation, Sept 10, the Congolese Army laid down their arms and stopped fighting "Lumumba's war".