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Army thwart coup in DRC

Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) army thwarted a coup d’etat against the government of President Felix Tshisekedi in the wee hours of Sunday May, 19.

Dozens of men clad in military uniform, armed with submachine guns and rifles, at around 4:10am on Sunday, attacked the residence of Vital Kamerhe. Kamerhe is a federal legislator and an ally of the president, pointed at to become the National Assembly’s Speaker.

At least three people including two Congolese security officials were killed in the shootout. The leader of the attackers, Christian Malanga was also killed during the crossfire. Over 50 people including three American nationals have been arrested according to the Congolese military.

Before its repulsion, the attack lasted for three hours.

Capt. Christian Malanga Musumari, a wealthy businessman, politician and formerly a member of the Congolese army is believed to have masterminded the attack .

He was a resident of the United States where his family secured political asylum when he was a child.

Malanga contested parliamentary elections in 2011, was arrested and detained for several weeks during the tenure of former President Joseph Kabila. Following his release, Malanga went to the US where his family had secured political asylum during his childhood and founded a political party, United Congolese Party (UCP). Through the years, Malanga has campaigned for religious freedom in Africa and has been at the forefront in the anticorruption training initiatives for young Africans in Europe.

In 2017,Makanga attempted a coup on government but it was not successful. In a livestream posted on Facebook, Malanga threatened the president and chanted “New Zaire!” Zaire is a name to which DRC was formerly known for.

“We, the militants, are tired,” Malanga said while speaking in Lingala as his army took occupation of the president’s offices. He went on to say, “We cannot drag on with Tshisekedi and Kamerhe, they have done too many stupid things in this country.”

President Tshisekedi is yet to come out publicly as questions keep on growing over how Malanga’s army were able to breach the security of the presidential palace. The African Union condemned the coup attempt and praised DRC’s army for handling the attackers.

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