Of all the African politicians now jostling for position in the soon-to-be-independent Belgian Congo, none makes the Belgians feel more uneasy about the future than cocky Patrice Lumumba, 33. A onetime postal clerk and convicted embezzler, Lumumba was hustled briefly off to jail only four months ago after bloody riots erupted in his home town of Stanleyville, leaving 20 of his fellow Africans dead. Last week the Congo was recovering from a visit that he paid to the Congo's second largest city, Elisabethville.

Lumumba has powerful enemies in Elisabethville, who hope that after...

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