Congolese Army Foils Coup Attempt In Kinshasa, Arrests Perpetrators

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This attempted coup comes amid a crisis gripping President Felix Tshisekedi’s ruling party over an election for the parliament’s leadership which was supposed to be held Saturday but was postponed.

Congo’s army says it has “foiled a coup” early Sunday morning.

The military arrested the perpetrators, including several foreigners, following a shootout between armed men in military uniform and a top politician’s guards that left three people dead in the capital, Kinshasa, AP reports.

The attempted coup d’état was “nipped in the bud by Congolese defense and security forces the situation is under control,” Congolese army spokesperson Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge said at a media briefing. He did not give further details.

There were reported clashes between men in military uniform and guards of a local politician at the politician’s house on Tshatshi Boulevard, about 2 kilometres from the presidential palace.

This attempted coup comes amid a crisis gripping President Felix Tshisekedi’s ruling party over an election for the parliament’s leadership which was supposed to be held Saturday but was postponed.

The armed men attacked the Kinshasa residence of

Michel Moto Muhima, the spokesperson for Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and a candidate for speaker of the National Assembly of Congo, posted on his X account on Sunday, “The residence of the honorable Vital KAMERHE was attacked around 4:30 a.m., this Sunday, May 19, 2024, by a group of armed men in military uniform. Two of the police officers assigned to his guard, as well as one of the attackers, lost their lives.

“The Honorable Vital KAMERHE and his family are safe and sound, their security has been reinforced.

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Local media identified the men as Congolese soldiers. It wasn’t clear if the men in military uniform were trying to arrest the politician.

Two police officers and one of the attackers were killed in the shootout that started around 4:30 a.m. at the house on Tshatshi Boulevard, according to Muhima.

A post by @Dachronica (Les Misérables) on X on Sunday said, “Insurgents in Kinshasa, Congo didn’t have rockets/RPGs , just small rifles. The presence of drones was a rumour. But they managed to penetrate in Gombe, and overtook Palais de la nation/ présidence – the assailants were allegedly sent by a wealthy man Christian Malanga from Congo central who lives in US. – they obviously did not have brain for the operation as coup d’état , given their military objective , and equipments. – their first objective was Kamerhe , they failed to take him out ,then fled to Palais de la nation – A lot of them were neutralized , the operation lasted 2,5 hours – given the current competition in National Assembly this looks like a hit poorly planned . The question is who ordered it?

“Militarily, a quarter of a military company made their way to the most respected residential area in all Congo, downtown Kinshasa , area with several key government institutions of the DRC, including the Palais de la Nation, the Central Bank of the Congo, various ministries, media organizations, and diplomatic representations.”

Photos posted by Les Misérables show military trucks and armed men on the streets. A video the X user posted shows military personnel leading the suspects on the road and binding their hands.

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