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DRC army says it stopped coup attempt involving three US citizens | Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

Coup leader killed, 50 people, including Americans, arrested after men allegedly attack presidency in capital Kinshasa

Reuters in Kinshasa

Sun May 19, 2024 5:08 p.m. EDT

The leader of an attempted coup in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday was killed and around 50 people, including three American citizens, arrested, a spokesman for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) told Reuters. Central African countries.

Gunfire broke out around 4 a.m. in the capital Kinshasa, a Reuters journalist said. Armed men attacked the presidency in the city center, according to spokesperson Sylvain Ekenge.

Another attack took place at the nearby home of Vital Kamerhe, an MP tipped to become parliament speaker, Kamerhe’s spokesman Michel Moto Muhima and the Japanese ambassador said in messages on Twitter/X.

Vital Kamerhe, leader of the Union for the Congolese Nation party, during a meeting in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018. Photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters

Moto Muhima said two guards and an attacker were killed in the incident. Ekenge also said an attacker was killed there.

A shell fired from Kinshasa hit the town of Brazzaville, in the neighboring Republic of Congo, injuring several people, the country’s government said in a statement, adding that one person had been hospitalized.

Ekenge named Christian Malanga, a U.S.-based Congolese politician, as the leader of the attempted coup.

“Malanga was definitively neutralized during the attack on the Palais de la Nation, a certain Aboubacar was neutralized during the attack on the residence of Vital Kamarhe, the others – around fifty including three American citizens – were arrested and are currently being questioned by specialized services. armed forces,” Ekenge told Reuters.

He said Malanga first attempted and aborted a coup in 2017 and that one of the US citizens arrested was Malanga’s son.

A Facebook page appearing to belong to Malanga posted live-streamed video of what appears to be the attack.

“We, the activists, are tired. We cannot hang out with Tshisekedi and Kamerhe, they have done too much stupid things in this country,” Malanga said in Lingala in the video, which has not been independently verified by Reuters.

US Ambassador Lucy Tamlyn said in a social media post that she was “very concerned” by reports that US citizens were involved in the events.

“Rest assured that we will fully cooperate with DRC authorities as they investigate these criminal acts and will hold accountable any U.S. citizen involved in criminal acts,” she said.

The US Embassy previously issued a security alert warning of “ongoing activity by DRC security elements” and reports of gunfire in the area.

The United Nations stabilization mission in the DRC said its head, Bintou Keita, condemned the incidents in the strongest terms and offered support to Congolese authorities in a message on X.

Tshisekedi was re-elected for a second presidential term in December, but has yet to name a government, six weeks after appointing a prime minister.

Kamerhe was a candidate for president of Parliament in elections scheduled for Saturday but delayed by Tshisekedi.

News Source : amp.theguardian.com
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