June 15, 2024

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The military said the attack was on the presidential palace

The military said the attack was on the presidential palace

The coup plotters attempted to enter the residence of Economy Minister Vital Kamerhe (next to President Felix Tshisekedi).Image: AP/AP

Congolese army claims to have thwarted coup. The attackers were arrested. Some were said to be carrying US and Canadian passports.

19.05.2024, 13:3519.05.2024, 14:03

The armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) say they have foiled the coup attempt. Congolese and “foreign” fighters were involved in the coup attempt on Sunday morning, army spokesman Sylvain Ekenge said live on state television.

Defense and security forces could have quickly quelled the attack on the presidential palace in the capital, Kinshasa. Ekenge said some of the plotters and their leader were “not acted upon”, which did not explain whether the perpetrators were arrested or killed.

Earlier on Sunday, unidentified assailants surrounded the residence of the Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister in Kinshasa. Gunmen dressed in military uniform tried to enter Vittal Kamerhe’s residence at 4:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. CEST), Kamerhe’s spokesman said on Twitter. Two security personnel and one attacker were killed in the ensuing encounter. So Kamarhe and his family are unscathed. Security arrangements have been beefed up around the residence.

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Kamerhe is running for Speaker of Parliament in the Central African nation. His candidature has met with severe criticism from the ruling party. The 65-year-old is not without controversy as a politician: in 2020 he was accused of embezzling around 50 million euros. However, after two appeals, Kamarhe was released in 2022. Since then, he has been a member of the ruling party again and a close confidant of President Felix Tshisekedi. (sda/dpa)

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