In Accra February 15, as in many other cities, a memorial service was held to commemorate the death of ex-Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba.
In Accra February 15, as in many other cities, a memorial service was held to commemorate the death of ex-Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba. President Nkrumah of Ghana and President Senghor of Senegal - who was on a four-day official visit - joined over 6000 people for this special massed service.
A long procession, including Members of Parliament, wound its way to the War Memorial. The two Presidents laid wreaths at its base to the accompaniment of funereal music from drums. Then guns boomed out at the start of a two-minute silence for Mr Lumumba before all sang "Abide With Me".
Earlier in the day, there had been violent scenes as hundreds of demonstrators ripped the United States seal from the American Embassy. Rifle shots shattered an Embassy lamp. Banners declared "Belgians must leave Congo".
Then, the climax the 4-hour demonstration, the screaming crowds tore a United Nations flag from the UN office, shredded it into bits and stamped it in the dust.
President Nkrumah stated Feb 19 that, from information he has received, Mr Lumumba was shot dead by a Belgian officer more than a month ago, as he knelt to pray. He said that on Jan 18, Lumumba's associated, Mr Mpolo and Mr Okito, were ordered to pray. As they did so, a Belgian officer ordered an African soldier to shoot them.
After this was done the soldier was told to shoot Lumumba but refused. So, according to Dr Nkrumah, the Belgian officer drew his revolver and killed Mr Lumumba.