June 16, 2024

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Three people reported killed as DRC army thwarts 'coup attempt' |  Military news

Three people reported killed as DRC army thwarts ‘coup attempt’ | Military news

The army says the forces “led to the cradle of the coup” and its perpetrators, including foreigners, were arrested.

Three people were reportedly killed in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after an exchange of gunfire between gunmen in military uniform and the bodyguards of a senior politician, in an incident the military described as an attempted coup.

Two police officers and one of the attackers were among those killed in the shootout that began early Sunday.

Michel Mutu Muhima, Kamerhi’s spokesman, said on social media that gunmen attacked the residence of Vital Kamerhi, a federal lawmaker and candidate for speaker of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s National Assembly, in Kinshasa, but were stopped by his guards.

“The Honorable Vital Kamerhi and his family are safe and sound,” the spokesman wrote on X.

A military spokesman in the Democratic Republic of the Congo said in a televised speech that the perpetrators of the failed takeover had been arrested.

Brigadier-General Sylvain Ekeng told reporters that the coup attempt “was nipped in the bud by the Congolese defense and security forces.” [and] “The situation is under control.”

The military said the group of people behind the coup attempt were mostly foreigners or Congolese citizens residing abroad, Al Jazeera’s Alain Oyekani reported. Uikani added that the military also said that some of the suspects held US and Canadian passports.

“There is no connection between these people and the local army or members of the security forces in Kinshasa,” Oyekanye said.

He added that the attack raised concerns among local residents about how the perpetrators succeeded in entering a highly protected place and attacking a prominent member of the government.

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Local media initially identified the armed men as Congolese soldiers, but then reported that they were linked to exiled opposition leader Christian Malanga, who appeared in a live video surrounded by several people in military uniform.

“Felix, you are out. We are coming for you,” Malanga said, referring to President Felix Tshisekedi.

Video footage from the area appeared to show military trucks and heavily armed men walking through deserted streets in the neighborhood.

The incident came amid a crisis ravaging the ruling party led by Tshisekedi regarding parliamentary leadership elections that were supposed to be held on Saturday but were postponed.

On Friday, Tshisekedi met with parliamentarians and leaders of the ruling coalition, the Holy Nation Union, in an attempt to resolve the crisis among his party, which dominates the National Assembly.

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

Tshisekedi was re-elected as president in December in a chaotic vote amid calls for a rerun from the opposition over what they said was a lack of transparency, following previous trends of disputed elections in the central African country.

The US Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo issued a security alert, urging caution after “reports of gunfire.”