Coup Attempt Crushed by DRC Defense Forces in Kinshasa, Army States

CC BY-SA 2.0 / MONUSCO Photos / Kinshasa, DRC

Three people were killed in a shootout in the capital early on Sunday between armed men in military uniform and a senior politician’s security guards, according to local media.

The Congolese army said on Sunday it thwarted a coup d’etat attempt in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the perpetrators have been detained.

“The coup attempt was thwarted on Sunday by defense and security forces in the capital, Kinshasa,” the army’s spokesman, General Sylvain Ekenge, said in a televised speech. “The army assures that the situation is under control and asks the people of Kinshasa to calmly go about their business.”

The politician targeted was Vital Kamerhe, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, a candidate for the post of President of the National Assembly. Two of his guards as well as one attacker died, according to Kamerhe’s spokesperson, Michel Moto.

“The Honorable Vital Kamerhe and his family are safe and sound; their security has been reinforced,” Moto wrote on X.

Kamerhe was announced as a contender for the National Assembly, the DRC’s principal legislative assembly, president on April 23.

The attackers were reportedly wearing uniforms with Zairean flags. In videos surfacing on social media, they claimed that they “want to change the situation in the management of the republic.”

According to unconfirmed local media reports, the leader of the attackers was Christian Malanga, who was known as a staunch government critic, and an active member of the Congolese diaspora in the US.

The Republican Guard was reportedly stationed on Chachi Boulevard. Military vehicles were positioned in the area of the Palais de la Nation (Palace of the Nation).

security meeting has reportedly been called.

The country’s previous coup attempt happened in February 2022. President Felix Tshisekedi, who was then serving as chairperson of the 35th African Union summit in Addis Ababa, had to leave the event prematurely to deal with the situation in the DRC.

Later, presidential spokesman Tharcisse Kasongo Mwema said that the government had “serious evidence” of a national security threat and that “no attempt to destabilize our democratic institutions will be tolerated.”

Presidential security adviser Francois Beya was apprehended by the Congo’s National Intelligence Agency on allegations of subverting national security, as reported by human rights campaigner Georges Kampiamba.

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