Foiled coup attempt in DR Congo: Key details

On Sunday, the DR Congo military successfully thwarted an attempted coup near President Felix Tshisekedi’s offices in the capital, Kinshasa.

The plot involved both foreign nationals and Congolese citizens.

Who Was Responsible? The coup was led by Christian Malanga, a 41-year-old Congolese national who had become a naturalized American citizen, according to army spokesman General Sylvain Ekenge. The group consisted of individuals from various nationalities.

Approximately 40 attackers were arrested, and four were killed, including Malanga. A naturalized British citizen, identified as the group’s second-in-command, was among those involved. Malanga’s son, Marcel Malanga, was also part of the group.

Attack on Minister’s Residence The attack began around 4:00 am local time (0300 GMT) in the Gombe district, an area in Kinshasa housing multiple embassies and institutions.

Witnesses reported seeing about 40 individuals in at least seven vehicles assault the home of Economy Minister Vital Kamerhe. The assailants were armed with automatic weapons and drones.

The firefight at Kamerhe’s residence lasted nearly an hour before security forces intervened. Kamerhe and his family were unharmed, but two police officers were killed. Two attackers were also killed during the assault, as confirmed by agents at the scene on Monday.

Reporters observed several bullet holes and broken windows at Kamerhe’s home, and a minibus used by the attackers was abandoned nearby.

Assault on Palais de la Nation Following the attack on Kamerhe’s residence, the assailants moved to the Palais de la Nation, situated near Kamerhe’s home along the Congo River.

This historic building, which houses President Tshisekedi’s offices, is protected by the Republican Guard and was empty at the time of the attack. National media reported that the attackers forced their way into the palace. Additionally, some attackers and mercenaries were positioned in the swamps along the river.

‘Long Live Zaire’ Inside the Palais de la Nation, the attackers filmed themselves with a flag of Zaire, the name of the DR Congo during the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko, who was overthrown in 1997. In the video, Malanga declared, “Long live Zaire, long live the children of Mobutu. Felix has fallen… We are victorious.”

The coup attempt ended when security forces intervened at the palace.

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