DR Congo Military Foils Coup Attempt Near President’s Office

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s military successfully thwarted a coup attempt near President Felix Tshisekedi’s office in Kinshasa on Sunday.
The coup, involving both “foreigners and Congolese assailants”, took place near the residence of Economy Minister Vital Kamerhe in the Gombe area, close to the Palais de la Nation.
General Sylvain Ekenge, the army spokesperson, announced the failed coup on national television, stating, “An attempted coup d’etat has been stopped by the defence and security forces.” He assured that the perpetrators, including their leader, would no longer pose any threat.
Gunfire was reported near the presidential offices during the early hours of the coup attempt. However, the situation in Kinshasa remained calm later in the morning.
Social media was abuzz with reports of armed men attacking Kamerhe’s home and subsequently moving towards the Palais de la Nation.
Japan’s ambassador, Hidetoshi Ogawa, confirmed the attack, stating that Kamerhe was unharmed, although two policemen and one assailant were killed.
France’s ambassador also reported hearing automatic weapons fire in the area and advised nationals to avoid the vicinity.
Videos circulating on social media showed men in military fatigues brandishing flags of Zaire, the former name of the DRC under dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.
Following the attempted coup, heavily armed military vehicles were seen moving from the Palais de la Nation towards a major intersection in Gombe.
Soldiers blocked access to the roads near President Tshisekedi’s office, ensuring security.
President Tshisekedi was re-elected in December with over 70% of the vote, but has yet to form a new government five months after the elections.
Vital Kamerhe was nominated on April 23 as a candidate for president of the National Assembly, the main legislative body of the DRC.
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