3 Americans Among Group Blamed For Failed Coup In the Congo

(StraightNews.org) – Three Americans were arrested for attempting to stage a coup and overthrow the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Authorities detained around 50 people after armed militants tried to occupy the private residence of President Felix Tshisekedi and his close ally and potential Speaker Vital Kamerhe in the capital, Kinshasa. The army of the central African country said it had quickly brought the situation under control.

DRC army spokesperson Brig Gen Sylavin Ekenge told reporters that among the 50 detainees were three Americans and one British citizen. He confirmed that President Tshisekedi was not present when approximately 20 armed men entered his official residence, the Palais de la Nation. Mr. Kamerhe was unharmed in the separate incident at his home roughly one mile away.

Local reports indicate that the New Zaire Movement, linked to previously exiled Congolese politician Christian Malanga, was responsible for the coup attempt. Mr. Malanga is a US citizen who died in the incident, and his son, also an American, was among those detained.

The New Zaire Movement was founded by Christian Malanga in 2017. It describes itself as a legitimate alternative to the new government elected last December in what critics described as a fraudulent election. In a video posted to social media soon before the coup attempt, Malanga said that DRC was ripe with corruption and that Tshisekedi and Kamerhe had done “stupid things” to the country.

US Ambassador Lucy Tamlyn said she was “shocked” by the incident, in which three people died, and promised that the American embassy would fully cooperate with security service investigations. She added that “criminal acts” should be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

When President Biden delivered a speech at Morehouse College, a historically Black institution in Atlanta, a sizeable Congolese flag was visible behind him. It later transpired that a college professor unfurled the flag behind the President to show solidarity with Friends of the Congo, which seeks to highlight internal conflict in the troubled African nation.

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