DR Congo army says it stopped coup attempt involving US citizens – SABC News

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The leader of an attempted coup on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was killed and about 50 people, including three US citizens, arrested, a spokesman for the Central African country’s army told Reuters.

Shots were fired in the capital, Kinshasa, around 4 a.m., a Reuters journalist said. According to spokesman Sylvain Ekenge, armed men attacked the presidency in the city center.

Another attack took place at the nearby home of Vital Kamerhe, a member of parliament who is set to become president, Kamerhe’s spokesman, Michel Moto Muhima, and the Japanese ambassador said in posts on X.

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

A projectile fired from Kinshasa hit the city of Brazzaville, in the neighboring Republic of Congo, wounding several people, the government of that country said in a statement, adding that one person had been hospitalized.

Ekenge named Christian Malanga, a Congolese politician based in the United States, as the leader of the coup attempt.

“Malanga was definitively neutralized during the attack on the Palace of the Nation, a certain Aboubacar was neutralized during the attack on Vital Kamarhe’s residence (and) the others – around 50, including three American citizens – were arrested and are currently being interrogated by the specialized services of the Armed Forces,” Ekenge told Reuters.

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

A Facebook page that appeared to belong to Malanga posted a livestreamed video of what appeared to be the attack.

“We, the militants, are tired. “We can’t go on with Tshisekedi and Kamerhe, they have done too many 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” about reports that US citizens had allegedly been involved in the events.

“Rest assured, we will cooperate with DRC authorities to the fullest extent as they investigate these criminal acts and hold accountable any U.S. citizens involved in criminal acts,” he said.

The US embassy had earlier issued a security alert warning of “ongoing activities by DRC security elements” and reports of gunfire in the area.

The United Nations stabilization mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said its head, Bintou Keita, condemned the incidents in the strongest terms and offered her support to Congolese authorities in a post on X.

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

Kamerhe was a candidate for speaker of parliament in an election scheduled for Saturday but delayed by Tshisekedi.