"Attempted coup" suppressed by defense forces in Kinshasa, says DRC army

2024-05-19 13:20:35 GMT2024-05-19 21:20:35(Beijing Time) Sina English

Photo taken on May 19, 2024 shows a street scene in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

An "attempted coup" was suppressed on Sunday by defense and security forces in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), said Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge, the spokesperson for the Congolese army.

"The army reassures that the situation is under control and asks Kinshasa residents to freely go about their business," the spokesperson said in a brief message broadcast on public television, specifying that several perpetrators of the act were arrested.

At least three deaths were reported in incursions early Sunday by a group of attackers in neighborhoods where politicians and diplomatic missions reside in Kinshasa, according to local media.

According to witnesses, "violent gunshots" were heard around 4:30 am (0330 GMT) on Sunday near the residence of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and a candidate for speaker of the National Assembly, the lower house of the country's bicameral parliament.

Three people, including two police officers, were killed during the clashes, according to local media citing security sources.

The attackers also entered the Palais de la Nation, the symbolic headquarters of the DRC Presidency in Kinshasa, and said via a livestream on Facebook that they were "fighting for the country."

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi primarily works at the Cite de l'Union Africaine (City of the African Union), a governmental complex situated in the Ngaliema commune of Kinshasa. The army spokesperson did not provide details on the situation of the president or Kamerhe.