May 19, 2024

DR Congo foils Kinshasa ‘coup attempt’ – Army

DR Congo foils Kinshasa ‘coup attempt’ – Army

The DR Congo military on Sunday thwarted an attempted coup near the offices of President Felix Tshisekedi in Kinshasa involving “foreigners and Congolese”, the army spokesperson said.

The coup bid took place in the early hours outside the residence of economy minister Vital Kamerhe, in the Gombe area in the north of the capital, near president’s offices at the Palais de la Nation.

“An attempted coup d’etat has been stopped by the defence and security forces,” said General Sylvain Ekenge in a message broadcast on national television.

He added that the “foreigners and Congolese … including their leader” would “all no longer cause any harm”.

Shots were also heard near the Palais de la Nation at the time of the coup attempt, according to a number of sources.

Ekenge did not give any more details on the coup attempt. AFP also contacted official sources but has so far received no reply.

The situation was calm in the city later in the morning, AFP journalists reported.

Reports began to circulate on social media in the early morning of an attack on Kamerhe’s home by armed men, some of whom then went to the Palais de la Nation.

– Months after the elections –

There was “an armed attack” this morning at the residence of the economy minister, Japan’s ambassador Hidetoshi Ogawa wrote on X.

Kamerhe “was not harmed… (but) two policemen and an assailant were killed according to sources,” he added.

France’s ambassador reported automatic weapons fire in the quarter, asking its nationals to avoid the area.

Videos on social media showed men in fatigues at the Palais de la Nation, brandishing flags of Zaire, the name of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko who was overthrown in 1997.

AFP was unable to verify the videos.

Several heavily armed military vehicles drove from the Palais de la Nation towards a large intersection, also in Gombe, AFP witnessed.

Construction blocks obstructed the road leading to the Palais de la Nation, while soldiers on foot blocked access to Boulevard Thsatshi, near to Tshisekedi’s offices.

Tshisekedi was re-elected at the end of December when he received more than 70 percent of votes in the first round of voting.

But he is yet to form a government some five months after the elections.

Kamerhe was named on April 23 as a candidate for president of the National Assembly, the DRC’s main legislative body.

Vanguard News