Video On Demand

The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination

December 1, 2023 • 1:00 – 2:00 pm EST

In The Lumumba Plot, Stuart Reid untangles the turmoil that ensued after Congo's independence from Belgium in 1960. A few days after Congo's independence Lumumba sought United Nations (UN) aid against a mutinous army, Belgian intervention, and two secessions in his newborn country. UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld quickly arranged the organization’s biggest peacekeeping mission to date. But the chaos was still spreading. Frustrated, Lumumba turned to the Soviets for support, triggering U.S. concern. To thwart the spread of communism in Africa, the CIA orchestrated Lumumba's removal. Within a year, Lumumba was ousted and assassinated. Hammarskjöld's mysterious death followed. For the Congolese people, the events of 1960–61 represented the opening chapter of a long horror story. This chapter, with Lumumba's demise, marked a dark genesis for the Congolese and a blueprint for U.S. interventions, shaping Cold War dynamics on a global scale.

The CSIS Africa Program is joined by Stuart Reid to discuss his new book The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and Cold War Assassination. Stuart Reid is an executive editor of Foreign Affairs. He has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Politico Magazine, Slate, and other publications.

This event is made possible through general support to CSIS Africa Program.

Contact Information

Stuart Reid
Executive Editor at Foreign Affairs Magazine, Author of The Lumumba Plot