Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Africa

'Attempted coup' in Kinshasa suppressed and 'situation under control': DRC army

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-19 17:53
Share - WeChat


Photo taken on May 19, 2024 shows a street scene in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). [Photo/Xinhua]

KINSHASA -- An "attempted coup" in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was suppressed on Sunday by defense and security forces, said Sylvain Ekenge, spokesperson for the Congolese army.


"The army reassures that the situation is under control and asks Kinshasa residents to freely go about their business," the spokesperson said in a brief message broadcast on public television, specifying that several perpetrators of the act were arrested.

At least three deaths were reported in incursions early Sunday by a group of attackers in neighborhoods where politicians and diplomatic missions reside in Kinshasa, according to local media.

According to witnesses, "violent gunshots" were heard around 4:30 am (0330 GMT) on Sunday near the residence of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and a candidate for speaker of the National Assembly, the lower house of the country's bicameral parliament.

Three people, including two police officers, were killed in the clashes, local media reported, citing security sources.

The attackers also entered the Palais de la Nation, the symbolic headquarters of the DRC presidency in Kinshasa, and said via a livestream on Facebook that they were "fighting for the country."

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi works primarily at the Cite de l'Union Africaine (City of the African Union), a government complex in the Ngaliema commune of Kinshasa. The army spokesperson did not provide details on the situation of the president or Kamerhe.

Michel Moto Muhima, Kamerhe's spokesperson, said on the social media platform X that Kamerhe and his family were "safe and sound" and that "their security has been reinforced."

The attackers, dressed in military uniform and displaying the Zaire flag, claimed in videos circulating on social media that they wanted to "change things in the management of the republic." Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire, was the name of the DRC from 1971 to 1997 under the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko.

In the circulating videos, a man presenting himself as the leader called himself Christian Malanga. He is a former DRC politician who formed the United Congolese Party (UCP) in 2010 and has been pleading for the return of Zaire. In 2017, Malanga created a government in exile in Brussels, Belgium, giving birth to the so-called "New Zaire."

"The Congolese and foreigners involved have been put out of action, including their leader. The security forces have the situation under control," said Ekenge without giving further details.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349