Democratic Republic of Congo’s army says it foiled coup attempt

19 May 2024, 18:04

Kinshasa. Picture: PA

The country’s president is yet to comment on the incident.

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army said it foiled a coup attempt early on Sunday and arrested the perpetrators, including several foreigners, following attacks on the presidential palace and the residence of a close ally of Congo’s president that left three people dead in the capital Kinshasa.

At first, local media identified the armed men as Congolese soldiers but then reported they were linked to self-exiled opposition figure Christian Malanga, who later posted a video on Facebook threatening President Felix Tshisekedi.

Mr Malanga was killed at the presidential palace after he resisted arrest by guards, Congolese army spokesperson Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge told The Associated Press (AP).

Mr Tshisekedi was re-elected as president in December in a chaotic vote amid calls for a revote from the opposition over what they said was a lack of transparency.

The Central African country has witnessed similar trends of disputed elections in the past.

Brig Gen Ekenge said on state television on Sunday that the attempted coup d’etat was “nipped in the bud by Congolese defence and security forces (and) the situation is under control”.

Among the perpetrators were three Americans, including the son of Mr Malanga, Brig Gen Ekenge later told the AP.

This also came amid a crisis gripping Mr Tshisekedi’s ruling party over an election for the parliament’s leadership, which was supposed to be held on Saturday but was postponed.

Clashes were reported on Sunday between men in military uniform and guards of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and a candidate for speaker of the National Assembly of Congo, at his residence in Kinshasa, about two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the presidential palace and where some embassies are also located.

Mr Kamerhe’s guards stopped the armed men, Michel Moto Muhima, the politician’s spokesperson, said on the X social media platform, adding that two police officers and one of the attackers were killed in the shootout that started at around 4.30am local time.

Footage, seemingly from the area, showed military trucks and heavily armed men parading deserted streets in the neighbourhood as the army said the situation has been brought under control.

Meanwhile, the self-exiled Mr Malanga appeared in the livestreamed video at the presidential palace surrounded by several people in military uniform and said: “Felix, you’re out. We are coming for you.”

On his website, the opposition leader’s group – the United Congolese Party (UCP) – is described as “a grassroots platform that unifies the Congolese Diaspora around the world opposing the current Congolese dictatorship”.

Mr Tshisekedi has not so far addressed the public about Sunday’s events.

On Friday, he met parliamentarians and leaders of the Sacred Union of the Nation ruling coalition in an attempt to resolve the crisis seizing his party, which dominates the national assembly.

He said he would not “hesitate to dissolve the National Assembly and send everyone to new elections if these bad practices persist”.

The United States embassy in Congo issued a security alert on Sunday, urging caution after “reports of gunfire”.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Russia’s Kazan nuclear-powered submarine arrives at the port of Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday

US submarine pulls into Guantanamo Bay day after Russian warships arrive in Cuba

This image provided by Tamatha Bibbo, principal of the Pollard Middle School in Needham, Massachusetts, shows 23 sets of twins who graduated from Pollard Middle School

Double take: 23 sets of twins graduate from single Massachusetts middle school

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich waves and smiles as he stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the First Appeals Court of General Jurisdiction in Moscow, Russia, on April 23 2024

US reporter Evan Gershkovich, held in Russia on espionage charges, to face trial

The 'Happy Days' actor shared a grinning selfie with Dublin Fire Brigade

Happy Days for The Fonz: Henry Winkler thanks firefighters after blaze at Dublin hotel

Rishi Sunak with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni

Rishi Sunak receives warm welcome at G7 summit as he reunites with Italian PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walks past various international flags on arrival at the G7 in Borgo Egnazia, Italy

How will move to lend Ukraine billions backed by Russia’s frozen assets work?

G7 leaders at the summit in southern Italy

G7 summit opens with deal to use frozen Russian assets for Ukraine

A tourist fans a companion in front of the the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens

Heatwave forces Greek authorities to shut Acropolis in afternoon for second day

Bulgarian former prime minister Boyko Borissov, leader of the centre-right GERB party

Bulgarian ex-premier Borissov offers coalition but does not want job again

A Polish soldier patrols the border with Belarus

Poland reintroduces restrictions along Belarus border due to migration pressures

Eric Calibet smiling in a black t-shirt with his arms spread out.

Retired US cop missing on Greek island days after Michael Mosley's body found - as temperatures hit 40 degrees

Leonardo Donno, of the 5-Star Movement (centre top), is protected by other politicians during the brawl in the lower house of Italy's Parliament

Fight erupts in Italian Parliament amid tension over expanding regional autonomy

One driver had to be rescued from the floods by helicopter

Floods in Spanish tourist hotspot cause chaos, as trapped driver hauled from car by rescue workers in helicopter

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses the media after receiving the results of the European Parliament elections

Top EU court fines Hungary 200m euros for flouting asylum law

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin (left) arrives for bilateral talks on the sidelines of a Nato defence ministers' meeting in Brussels

Nato defence ministers thrash out Ukraine security aid and training support plan

Middle terrace at ruins of Ancient Kameiros, Kalavarda, Rhodes (Rodos), The Dodecanese, South Aegean Region, Greece

Rhodes hit by 4.8-magnitude earthquake as holidaymakers describe 'the whole airport shaking'