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Faith Nyasuguta 

The streets of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, appeared calm on Monday after the army announced it had foiled a coup attempt early Sunday. 

Government forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) successfully thwarted the attempted coup, which unfolded late Saturday night and into Sunday morning. The incident has left the nation on edge as authorities work to restore order and investigate those involved.

“An attempted coup d’etat has been put down by the defense and security forces. The attempt involved foreigners and Congolese. These foreigners and Congolese have been put out of action, including their leader,” said Congolese army spokesperson Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge. 

/Morocco News/

The armed forces of the DRC ask the population to go about their business freely and peacefully. The defense and security forces are in complete control of the situation,” Ekenge added, providing no further details.

Clashes were reported between men in military uniform and guards of a local politician at the politician’s house on Tshatshi Boulevard, about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the presidential palace and where some embassies are also located. Armed men in military uniform raided the office of President Felix Tshisekedi, who was not present at the time. The army engaged the assailants, killing some of them, and restoring calm in the city.

This incident occurred amid a crisis within President Felix Tshisekedi’s ruling party over an election for the parliament’s leadership, which was supposed to be held Saturday but was postponed. 

Armed men attacked the Kinshasa residence of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and a candidate for speaker of the National Assembly of Congo, but were stopped by his guards, Michel Moto Muhima, his spokesperson, said on the X social media platform. “The Honorable Vital Kamerhe and his family are safe and sound. Their security has been reinforced,” he wrote.

Local media identified the men as Congolese soldiers, but it wasn’t clear if they were trying to arrest the politician. Two police officers and one of the attackers were killed in the shootout that started around 4:30 a.m. (0330GMT) at the house on Tshatshi Boulevard, according to Muhima. Footage, seemingly from the area, showed military trucks and heavily armed men parading deserted streets in the neighborhood.

President Felix Tshisekedi /Courtesy/

On Friday, President Felix Tshisekedi met with parliamentarians and leaders of the Sacred Union of the Nation ruling coalition in an attempt to resolve the crisis within his party, which dominates the national assembly. He said he would not “hesitate to dissolve the National Assembly and send everyone to new elections if these bad practices persist.

Residents expressed their anger over the incident, calling for diplomatic solutions and proper investigations into how the attackers managed to breach security. The coup attempt occurred hours after a gunfight at the residence of former Deputy Prime Minister Vital Kamerhe, who is safe along with his family.

This turmoil adds to the ongoing armed conflict in the east, where Congolese forces are battling M23 rebels in North Kivu province, displacing over a million people since last year.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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