Congo Says It Foiled Coup Attempt

Congo Says It Foiled Coup Attempt

( – A political dissident in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been killed while staging an attempted coup, the country’s army reported. Authorities detained around 50 accomplices, including American citizens, after groups allegedly attempted an armed takeover of a government building and residence in the capital, Kinshasa.

Gunmen attacked the home of potential Speaker Vital Kamerhe, according to his spokesperson, and also attempted to occupy the President’s official residence, the Palais de la Nation. The army later said it had brought the situation under control.

DRC army spokesperson Brig Gen Sylavin Ekenge told a press conference that among the 50 detainees, three were American citizens, and one a British citizen. He added that Mr. Kamerhe, a close ally of President Felix Tshisekedi, was unharmed when around 20 armed men tried to take over his house.

Local reports suggest that the militants were members of the New Zaire Movement, which had links to Christian Malanga, a Congolese politician formerly exiled in the US and an American citizen. Mr. Malanga died in the attempted coup, and his son, Marcel Malanga, is among the Americans arrested by security services.

US Ambassador Lucy Tamlyn said she was “shocked” by the incident and promised that the American embassy would fully cooperate with security service investigations. In a post on X, she said that “criminal acts” should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

President Tshisekedi was not present at the Palais de la Nation when it came under attack. Three people died at that scene, located just over a mile from Mr. Kamerhe’s home.

In a recent video, Mr. Malanga said the DRC, previously known as Zaire, was ripe with corruption and accused Tshisekedi and Kamerhe of doing “stupid things” to the country. Analysts have expressed some confusion as to the amateur nature of the attacks, with some suggesting that the official narrative of events may not be the whole story.

President Tshisekedi was re-elected in December following elections that his critics said were illegitimate. He has yet to form a government.

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