Roundup: African leaders condemn failed coup attempt in DR Congo-Xinhua

Roundup: African leaders condemn failed coup attempt in DR Congo

Source: Xinhua| 2024-05-20 23:03:15|Editor: huaxia

KINSHASA, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of African countries and organizations have voiced their condemnation of a failed coup attempt early Sunday in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The coup attempt was "nipped in the bud" by defense forces, DRC military spokesperson Sylvain Ekenge said.

At about 4:30 a.m. local time (0330 GMT) on Sunday, some 50 armed attackers raided 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. Two policemen and one attacker died in the initial fighting.

The remaining attackers then broke into the Palais de la Nation, where offices of DRC President Felix Tshisekedi are located.

Four attackers, including their leader, "a certain Christian Malanga, a Congolese naturalized American," were killed, and about 40 others involved in the attack, including several Americans, were arrested, Ekenge said.

The attackers, dressed in military uniforms and displaying the Zaire flag, claimed in videos circulating on social media that they wanted to "change things in the management of the Republic."

Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire, was the name of the DRC from 1971 to 1997.

Christian Malanga formed the United Congolese Party (UCP) in 2010 and advocated for the return of Zaire. In 2017, Malanga created a government in exile in Brussels, giving birth to so-called "New Zaire."

The failed coup attempt has been condemned by the African Union (AU), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), South Africa and Namibia.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat late Sunday condemned any use of force aimed at changing the constitutional order of any African country, and welcomed that the DRC defense and security forces had brought the situation under control.

The SADC, of which the DRC is a member, on Monday congratulated Kinshasa for ending a situation that "risked getting worse."

Since January 2024, several SADC member countries have formed a regional military force to neutralize rebel groups in the DRC's conflict-hit east. The SADC also called on its member states and the international community to promote regional peace.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said that he was "pleased to see the coup attempt didn't succeed," which would otherwise be a "devastating blow to the SADC."

Angolan President Joao Lourenco on Monday condemned the attempted coup: "We once again advocate zero tolerance for unconstitutional changes in Africa that go against the principles of the African Union and the United Nations Charter."

In Windhoek, Namibian Foreign Minister Peya Mushelenga also condemned the coup attempt "in the strongest terms."

"Namibia remains resolute in its stance on zero tolerance on acceding to power through unconstitutional means," he said in a statement.

According to Ekenge, the DRC military spokesman, the attackers initially wanted to attack the residences of the new prime minister, Judith Suminwa, and the defense minister, Jean-Pierre Bemba, but could not "identify the home" of the first and "did not find" the second at home.

On Monday, Xinhua correspondents observed heightened military presence in key areas in Kinshasa, such as the presidential residence, the Palais du Peuple, where the upper and lower houses of parliament are located, and the headquarters of state television RTNC.