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LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

BREAKING

DR Congo army thwarts coup plot involving US nationals: summary

FILE PHOTO: Democratic Republic of Congo's outgoing President Joseph Kabila and his successor Felix Tshisekedi stand during an inauguration ceremony whereby Tshisekedi will be sworn into office as the new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Palais de la Nation in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, January 24, 2019. REUTERS/ Olivia Acland/File Photo
Source: REUTERS

What we know

  • Spokesperson for the Democratic Republic of Congo military Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge in a message broadcast on national television announced that a coup plot in the early hours of May 19 had been thwarted
  • According to reports, the attack happened outside the home of Vital Kamerhe, a federal lawmaker and a candidate for speaker of parliament, in the Gombe neighbourhood north of Kinshasa, close to the Palais de la Nation, which houses the president's offices.
  • Three people, including two police officers and the leader of the attackers, were reported killed following a shootout
  • According to the military spokesperson, the orchestrator of the coup was Christian Malanga, a US-based Congolese politician
  • About fifty people, including three Americans, had been arrested, Ekenge told Reuters
  • Aljazeera's reports further indicated that the group responsible for the attempted coup was primarily made up of foreigners, with several of the suspects possessing US and Canadian passports and also had no connections to the local army or Kinshasa security personnel
  • The armed men were first identified as Congolese soldiers connected to self-exiled opposition leader Malanga, according to Aljazeera. Malanga made an appearance in a live-streamed video, surrounded by many individuals wearing military uniforms
  • The army officer also revealed that one of the US citizens detained was Malanga's son and that Malanga attempted and failed to stage a coup in 2017
  • US Ambassador Lucy Tamlyn expressed concern over the alleged involvement of American citizens in the Central African nation
  • DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi after his re-election in December 2023 has yet to name a government, six weeks after appointing the nation’s first female prime minister following the resignation of Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde as prime minister on February 20

What they said

US Ambassador Lucy Tamlyn in a post on social media platform X said “I am shocked by the events of this morning and very concerned by reports of American citizens allegedly involved. Please be assured that we will cooperate with the DRC authorities to the fullest extent as they investigate these criminal acts and hold accountable any U.S. citizen involved in criminal acts.” DR Congo army spokesperson Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge also told Reuters "Malanga was definitively neutralised during the attack on the Palais de la Nation, a certain Aboubacar was neutralised during the attack on the residence of Vital Kamarhe [and] the others - around 50 including three American citizens - were arrested and are currently undergoing interrogation by the specialised services of the Armed Forces."

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