DRC army quashes attempted coup against President Felix Tshisekedi News
SSgt. Jocelyn A. Guthrie, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
DRC army quashes attempted coup against President Felix Tshisekedi

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) army on Sunday said it quashed a coup attempt comprising of Congolese and international fighters against President Felix Tshikedi in the country’s capital, Kinshasa. In a message broadcast on DRC national television, the spokesperson for the Congolese army, General Ekenge affirmed that the Congolese army foiled this coup attempt.

The attempt involved armed men breaking into the home of Vital Kamerhe, the former chief of staff and close ally of President Tshisekedi. According to witness accounts provided to the BBC, there was a gunfight after a group of roughly 20 attackers wearing army uniforms broke into the house.

The armed men were initially described by local media as Congolese soldiers but subsequently found to be associated with Christian Malanga, the opposition leader who had gone into exile. Christian Malanga appeared in live video of the attempted coup posted on social media, stating they were coming for the current DRC president.

The Washington Post reported that Malanga had proclaimed himself president-in-exile and established a political organization among the Congolese diaspora in the United States called “The New Zaire.”

Malanga was subsequently killed at the presidential palace after he resisted arrest by guards, Congolese army spokesperson Brig. Gen. Sylvain Ekenge told the Associated Press.

In a post written on X (formerly Twitter), Kamerhe’s spokesman Michel Moto Muhima confirms the family is safe and that they have security.

The incident comes in the midst of a crisis that Tshisekedi’s governing party is experiencing due to the postponement of a Saturday leadership poll in parliament. After a string of contentious elections in the central African nation, the opposition demanded a new poll in December, which resulted in a chaotic vote that saw Tshisekedi re-elected as president.

The African Union, a continental union of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa, condemned the attempted coup d’état in a press release. Following the events in Kinshasa, Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the African Union Commission, voiced his concerns, saying he condemned the use of force to change the government of any African state.

President Tshisekedi had not yet publicly commented on the current situation at the time of publication.