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News > Democratic Republic of Congo

DRC: Southern African Community Condemns Attempted Coup

  • Congolese victims of the armed terrosit groups, May 2024

    Congolese victims of the armed terrosit groups, May 2024 | Photo: X/ @MyLordBebo

Published 20 May 2024 (18 hours 51 minutes ago)
Opinion

On Sunday, men in military uniform attacked the residence of the deputy prime minister and head of the economy, Vital Kamerhe, at around 04:30 local time.

On Monday, the extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) condemned the attempted coup d'état in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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Meeting virtually, the dignitaries strongly rejected the attack perpetrated the day before "by a group of terrorists composed of nationals and foreigners with the aim of destabilising the democratic institutions of the DRC," said the final communiqué of the meeting.

SADC reaffirmed its categorical opposition to unconstitutional changes of government and reiterated its commitment to support the efforts made by the Angolan authorities to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as the security of the population.

Angolan President João Lourenço, who led the meeting in his capacity as President pro tempore of the Community, also condemned the attempt and reaffirmed zero tolerance against violent changes on the continent, which go against the African Union Charter and SADC principles.

Lourenço also expressed his solidarity with the Congolese people who, in addition to facing a difficult and long armed conflict, have just experienced this challenge that has attacked state institutions, the Angolan Press Agency reported.

On Sunday, men in military uniform attacked the residence of the deputy prime minister and head of the economy, Vital Kamerhe, at around 04:30 local time.

The deputy and candidate for the post of president of the National Assembly and his family were unharmed in the incident and their security was reinforced. 

The assailants then headed for the Palace of the Nation, the seat of the presidency.

DRC armed forces spokesman Major General Sylvain Ekenge confirmed the death of the leader of the coup attempt, Christian Malanga, a Congolese national who became a US citizen.

Ekenge added that four people were killed in the attempt and said the attackers had sophisticated equipment, including drones.

Security forces foiled the attempt and are keeping the situation under control, he said.

The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, also condemned the coup attempt in the DRC and expressed satisfaction that all republican leaders and institutions were safe and intact.

Faki expressed his rejection of any use of force to change the constitutional order in any African state.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, Bintou Keita, also rejected the armed attack against figures and institutions in the country and said she was "closely following the evolution of the situation and is at the disposal of the Congolese authorities to provide any support within the framework of her mandate".

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