Congo Army Says It Stopped Attempted Coup Near Felix Tshisekedi Office In Kinshasa Involving Several Americans, British Man

Videos on social media showed exhausted men waving Zairian flags at the Palais de la Nation.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo:

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s military said on Sunday that it had thwarted an “attempted coup” involving “foreigners and Congolese nationals” near President Felix Tshisekedi’s official residence in Kinshasa.

The incident occurred in the early hours of the morning outside the residence of Economy Minister Vital Kamerhe, near the Palais de la Nation, where the president’s office is located, in the Gombe district in the north of the capital, the spokesperson said.

“The attempted coup was thwarted by the defense forces and security forces,” General Sylvain Ekenge said in a message broadcast on state television.

Sources said gunshots could also be heard near the Palais de la Nation at the time of the coup attempt.

Late Sunday, military spokesman General Sylvain Ekenzie said several American and British men were part of the group involved in the operation.

Ekenge said in a broadcast Sunday night that the coup plot was led by a Congolese man, Christian Malanga, a “naturalized American” who was “decisively neutralized” (killed) by security forces.

Ekenge said the group was made up of “multiple nationalities” and added that about 40 of the attackers were arrested and four were killed, including Malanga.

“We also have a naturalized British national who is number two in the group,” the spokesperson added. Malanga’s son, Marcel Malanga, was among the attackers.

A source close to the minister said Kamerhe and his family were unharmed, but two police officers caring for them were killed.

The group had planned to attack the home of new Prime Minister Judith Suminwa and the residence of Defense Minister Jean-Pierre Bemba.

However, they were unable to find Bemba at home as they were “unable to locate” Suminwa’s home.

After Kamerhe’s home was attacked, the group went to the Palais de la Nation and waved the flag of Zaire, the name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo under dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, who was overthrown in 1997. Ta.

Lucy Tumlin, the U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, previously tweeted that she was “shocked by this morning’s events and deeply concerned by reports that allegedly involve American citizens.” Posted on X.

“Rest assured that we are cooperating in any way possible as DRC authorities investigate these criminal acts and hold accountable the American citizens involved.”

The French ambassador reported firing with automatic weapons in the area and called on the public to avoid firing.

During the day, some streets near the Palais de la Nation remained closed to traffic, but the situation appeared calm, an AFP reporter reported.

“It’s a little scary to move around like that because there aren’t many people in Gombe… But we have to sell our products,” said bread seller Jean Mbuta.

Videos on social media showed exhausted men waving Zairian flags at the Palais de la Nation.

The flag of Zaire was mostly green, while the flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was mostly blue.

“The time has come, long live Zaire, long live the children of Mobutu,” a man believed to be the group’s leader said in Lingala, a language spoken in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Felix went down…we won,” he added.

AFP was also unable to confirm the video.

Tshisekedi was re-elected at the end of December, receiving more than 70% of the votes in the first round.

In the parliamentary elections held on the same day, parties supporting him won approximately 90% of the seats.

However, approximately five months after the election, a government has not yet been formed.

Kamerhe was nominated on April 23 for the position of speaker of the National Assembly, the DRC’s main legislative body.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)