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DETAILS: Congolese Army Foils Coup Attempt, Leader of Armed Gang Killed



Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge, spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC)

The Democratic Republic of Congo army announced it successfully thwarted a coup d’état targeting the Presidential Palace, in the early hours of Sunday, May 19.

Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge, spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), made the announcement in a brief message broadcast on National television.

General Ekenge revealed that the FARDC had acted swiftly to prevent the coup, with several perpetrators arrested during the operation. “The situation is under control,” he assured, urging the people of Kinshasa to freely go about their daily activities without fear.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: President Tshisekedi’s National Palace Cordoned Off Amid Armed Attack in Kinshasa

The announcement comes after a night of gunfire in Gombe district, in the capital Kinshasa where an estimated twenty armed men, attempted to storm the residence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Vital Kamerhe. The violent exchange resulted in the deaths of two police officers and one of the attackers.

Armored vehicles were deployed from the Pullman Hotel to the presidential palace along Tshatshi Boulevard around 4:30 a.m. Military forces quickly secured strategic positions around key locations, including the Pullman Hotel and the Fleuve du Congo Hotel in Kinshasa. Witnesses reported that some attackers fled towards the Palais de la Nation, (Presidential Palace) where they were surrounded and apprehended.

READ ALSO: Leader of DRC Armed Group Killed, ‘US Passport Holder’ Among Arrested in Attempted Siege on Presidential Palace

Sources indicate that drones were reportedly used during the attack, and the attackers abandoned a minibus in the street. Among those arrested were individuals found with US and Canadian passports according to images posted online by DRC reporters, further complicating the situation.

Vital Kamerhe and his family, though threatened, were seen in good health but in shock, according to relatives.

It is believed the group was led by Christian Malanga who according to reports, was gunned down during operations to thwart the coup.