Coup In Kinshasa DRC, Army Speaks After Thwart
20 May 2024
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Failed Coup in Kinshasa: Armed Conflict Leaves Three Dead, Multiple Arrests Including Foreign Nationals

By Farai D above | ZimEye | KINSHASA, May 19, 2024 – A tense morning in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) escalated into violence as the Congolese army thwarted an attempted coup, leading to the deaths of three individuals and the arrest of around 50 people, including foreign nationals. The government has declared the situation under control following early morning gunfire in the nation’s capital.

“The swift response by our defense and security forces has ensured that the coup was nipped in the bud. Our country’s peace and governance structure remains intact,” Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge, a spokesperson for the Congolese army, stated during a press briefing. Ekenge confirmed that the deceased included two guards and one attacker, with the latter taking place at the residence of MP Vital Kamerhe.

The violence erupted around 4 a.m. local time with attacks at multiple locations including the presidential palace and the residence of Kamerhe, who is poised to become the next parliamentary speaker. The army identified the leader of the coup as Christian Malanga, a naturalized American and previously active Congolese political figure, who was killed during the raid on the presidential palace.

“In addition to Mr. Malanga, we have detained individuals from various nationalities including three American citizens and a British national involved in the plot,” Ekenge elaborated in his evening broadcast, revealing that Malanga’s son was among those apprehended.

A stray shell from the conflict crossed into the neighboring Republic of Congo, hitting the city of Brazzaville and injuring several civilians, one critically. The incident has raised tensions across the Congo River, prompting a sharp response from the neighboring country’s government.

US Ambassador to the DRC, Lucy Tamlyn, expressed deep concerns about the involvement of American nationals. “We are very concerned about these developments and assure full cooperation with DRC authorities to address these unlawful acts,” Tamlyn stated in a social media post. Earlier, the US embassy had issued a security alert advising of the volatile situation.

The United Nations’ stabilisation mission in the DRC also responded strongly to the events. “We condemn these violent attempts against DRC’s constitutional integrity in the strongest terms,” said Bintou Keita, head of the mission, extending the organization’s support to local authorities.

The Congolese government has been grappling with political instability, and today’s events further complicate the national landscape, especially as President Tshisekedi has been slow to establish a new government following his re-election.

As the Congolese authorities continue their investigations and interrogations of the arrested individuals, more details are expected to emerge about the motivations behind the attempted coup and the international connections possibly underlying it.