DRC Armed Forces Foil Coup Attempt Involving Congolese and Foreign Fighters

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Kinshasa, – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) armed forces successfully thwarted an attempted coup d’etat on Sunday morning, which involved both Congolese and foreign fighters, according to a televised statement by army spokesman Sylvain Ekenge.

“An attempted coup d’etat has been put down by the defense and security forces. The attempt involved foreigners and Congolese. These foreigners and Congolese have been put out of action, including their leader,” Ekenge announced. He did not clarify whether the individuals had been detained or killed.

Tina Salama, a spokeswoman for President Felix Tshisekedi, confirmed to Reuters that the presidential palace was attacked on Sunday morning, but the army quickly regained control.

In a related incident, two guards and an assailant were killed in an attack on the nearby residence of Vital Kamerhe, a member of parliament and potential candidate for speaker. This was confirmed by Kamerhe’s spokesman and the Japanese ambassador through posts on X (formerly Twitter).

The United States embassy issued a security alert on Sunday, warning of “ongoing activity by DRC security elements” and reports of gunfire in the area.

In a live-streamed video on a Facebook page seemingly belonging to Christian Malanga, a US-based politician, Malanga appeared to be leading the attack. “We, the militants, are tired. We cannot drag on with Tshisekedi and Kamerhe; they have done too many stupid things in this country,” he said in Lingala. Reuters has not independently verified the video.

President Tshisekedi, who was re-elected for a second term in December, has yet to name a government, six weeks after appointing a prime minister. The election for the speaker of parliament, in which Kamerhe was a candidate, had been scheduled for Saturday but was postponed by Tshisekedi. – Reuters