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SADC condemns attempted coup in DRC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) condemned an attempted coup in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday morning.

Government forces in the DRC announced that it had successfully thwarted an attempted coup involving foreigners and Congolese.

In a statement issued this Monday, 20 May, the SADC Secretariat condemned the attempted putsch and commended the DRC military for putting it down. Reads the statement:

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) condemns in its strongest terms the attempted coup d`état that happened on 19 May 2024 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after gunmen tried to attack the homes of senior officials of the DRC government including that of President Félix Tshisekedi.

While condemning this act of violence, SADC wishes to extend its appreciation to the DRC army for having arrested the perpetrators and ceased any escalation that could have occurred from this unfortunate incident.

DRC army spokesperson Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge told Reuters, that the leader of the attempted coup was killed and some 50 people including three American citizens arrested. He said:

An attempted coup d’etat has been put down by the defence and security forces. The attempt involved foreigners and Congolese. These foreigners and Congolese have been put out of action, including their leader…

The armed forces of the DRC ask the population to go about their business freely and peacefully. The defence and security forces are in complete control of the situation.

Gunfire rang out around 4 AM in the capital Kinshasa, a Reuters reporter said. Ekenge was also reported as saying armed men attacked the presidency in the city centre.

Another attack took place at the nearby home of Vital Kamerhe, a member of parliament who is tipped to become speaker, Michel Moto Muhima, his spokesperson said on the X.

Muhima said two police officers and one of the attackers were killed in the shootout that started around 4:30 AM at the house on Tshatshi Boulevard.

Ekenge named Christian Malanga, a US-based Congolese politician, as the leader of the attempted coup.

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