Didier Reynders offers his condolences following the passing away of Justin-Marie Bomboko, the first minister of Foreign Affairs of the Independent State of the Congo

It is with great sadness that Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders learned of the death of Justin-Marie Bomboko Lokumba, who passed away today in UCL Saint-Luc in Brussels. Bomboko, born in 1928, was together with Patrice Lumumba looked upon as the father of the Independent State of the Congo. He was co-signer of the Act of Independence of the Congo on 30 June 1960. Didier Reynders acknowledges the positive role played by Justin Bomboko during the tumultuous years following the country’s declaration of independence. For his role in that momentous event, he was in 1963 awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown.

Justin-Marie Bomboko was the first Commissioner-General for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners-General in 1960-1961. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1960 until 1963 and from 1965 until 1969. In 1955, Bomboko also became the first Congo national to graduate from the Université Libre of Brussels.

Didier Reynders offers his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Justin Bomboko and to the population of the Congo who by his passing away have lost the services of a true and loyal friend.