After several negotiations within the framework of developing cultural and educational relations between Russia and Africa, the proposal to renamed Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia after the Congolese politician Patrice Lumumba was finally supported by the State Duma and the Federation Council.
Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin was convinced that returning the name would be symbolic in the light of the recent events in Ukraine: Patrice Lumumba, one of the symbols of the struggle of the people of Africa for independence, was killed because of his anti-Western position, defending the interests of the country.
“That is who we are dealing with today in the West, that has long a long history of enslaving other states, it has currently concentrated a huge amount of military resources on the territory of Ukraine and in fact is turning Ukraine into a desert, burning everything in its path,” he stressed.
Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky recalled that the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia was once named after Patrice Lumumba, a famous Congolese politician and fighter for independence.
“Patrice Lumumba and those politicians who at that time gave their lives for our today’s ideals and goals, fought for national sovereignty, culture, traditions of the countries of the African continent, they were great political figures. History cannot be rewritten, but now it is necessary to take a decision and return the name of the great political figure to the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia,” said Leonid Slutsky.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, also speaking in the State Duma, said that the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia has been once again been bestowed with the name of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who became a symbol of the struggle of African peoples for independence.
Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the return to the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) the name of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, would contribute to further strengthening of friendly relations between Russia and African countries.
“We are convinced that this landmark event on the eve of the second Russia-Africa summit will serve to further strengthen our country’s traditionally friendly ties with African states and their peoples,” the ministry said, noting that it welcomed the decision.
“The return of the historical name to the university is yet another evidence of the particular importance of the African direction in Russian foreign policy, as well as Russia’s firm determination to contribute to the formation of a new fair system of international relations, in which there will be no place for colonialism and neo-colonialism,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
The heads of African diplomatic missions expressed a consolidated position in support of speedily restoring the name of Patrice Lumumba in the name of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. After collapse of the Soviet Union, the name of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba was removed; and now authorities are attempting a fix-back to influence African leaders so they attend the forthcoming second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in July 2023.
The Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia was founded in 1960. It bore the name of Patrice Lumumba from 1961 to 1992. In 1992 it was renamed the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia by decision of the Russian government.
The university’s primary mission was to train highly qualified national specialists for Asian, African and Latin American countries, but Soviet students also attended the university. According to the university’s website, it now tops the list of Russian universities in terms of the percentage of foreign students in the overall student body. The university awards degrees in several dozen academic disciplines.
Source: Thepressradio.com|Kestér Kenn Klomegâh|