DR Congo thwarts Kinshasa 'coup attempt:' Army - GulfToday

DR Congo thwarts Kinshasa 'coup attempt:' Army


An empty street is pictured in the Neighbourhood of Gombe in Kinshasa on Sunday. AFP

The DR Congo military on Sunday said it had thwarted an "attempted coup" near the offices of President Felix Tshisekedi in Kinshasa involving "foreigners and Congolese".

It happened in the early hours of the morning outside the residence of Economy Minister Vital Kamerhe, in the Gombe area in the north of the capital, near the Palais de la Nation that houses the president's offices, a spokesman said.

"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 said that the attempt included "foreigners and Congolese" but that none of them "including their leader, could any longer cause 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 so far has not received a reply.

"I am shocked by the events this morning and very worried by the reports of American citizens allegedly being involved," Lucy Tamlyn, the US ambassador to the DRC, posted on X, formerly Twitter.

"Rest assured that we are cooperating with authorities in DRC to the fullest extent possible, as they investigate these criminal acts and hold accountable any American citizen involved."

"I am shocked by the events this morning and very worried by the reports of American citizens allegedly being involved."

There was "an armed attack" on Sunday morning at the residence of the economy minister, Japan's ambassador to Kinshasa, Hidetoshi Ogawa wrote on X.

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

It is not known exactly how many people were killed during the coup attempt, or how many arrests have been made.

France's ambassador reported automatic weapon fire in the area, urging nationals to avoid it.

During the day, certain streets near the Palais de la Nation remained closed to traffic, but the situation appeared calm, AFP journalists reported.

"I'm a little afraid to move around like that in Gombe, there aren't many people... But I have to sell my goods," bread-seller Jean-Mbuta said.

Taxi driver Papa Fely said he is "not afraid" but hit out at those who think they can solve their problems by "taking up arms".

"A serious and in-depth enquiry is needed to shed light on this serious incident," citizen movement Lucha (a french acronym for fight for change) said in a press release.

A number of people were also injured in Brazzaville, when a shell from Kinshasa fell into a neighbourhood in the capital of the Republic of Congo, which sits just across the Congo river from the DRC.

"A few people have been lightly injured, one of whom has been transported to the army hospital of Brazzaville for treatment by the health service," government spokesperson and Minister of Communication and Media Thierry Moungalla said in a statement.

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.

Agence France-Presse

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