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Attempted Coup in DR Congo: Kinshasa Clash Leaves Three Dead

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"Image depicting a tense scene in Kinshasa, DR Congo, where armed men in military uniforms clash with guards at the residence of a top politician, leading to casualties and heightened security concerns."

In a startling incident early Sunday morning in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), three people were killed during a shootout that the army has described as an attempted coup. The violence erupted between armed men, some in military uniforms, and the security guards of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and candidate for the speaker of the National Assembly.

The clash resulted in the deaths of two police officers and one assailant. According to Michel Moto Muhima, Kamerhe’s spokesman, the attack targeted Kamerhe’s residence but was thwarted by his guards. Muhima assured the public of Kamerhe’s and his family’s safety through a post on the social media platform, X.

In a televised statement, Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge, a military spokesman, announced that the perpetrators behind the failed coup had been arrested. He detailed that the attack was “nipped in the bud by Congolese defense and security forces,” asserting that “the situation is under control.” Ekenge revealed that the group involved in the coup attempt comprised mostly foreigners or Congolese citizens residing abroad, including some holding US and Canadian passports.

CMP Publications’ correspondent reported from Kinshasa that there is no known connection between the attackers and any local army or security forces members. The security breach has sparked concerns among the local population about the assailants’ ability to penetrate a highly secured area and target a high-profile government official.

Further complicating the political landscape, the incident occurred amidst a crisis within President Felix Tshisekedi’s governing party related to a postponed parliamentary leadership election. On Friday, Tshisekedi had met with parliamentarians and leaders of the Sacred Union of the Nation ruling coalition, where he threatened to dissolve the National Assembly and call for new elections if ongoing issues persisted.

The tension is also heightened by the backdrop of Tshisekedi’s re-election in December, which was marred by controversy and calls from the opposition for a revote due to alleged transparency issues.

The US Embassy in DR Congo has issued a security alert urging caution following the incident. The situation remains tense, with concerns about potential further unrest.

This incident marks another chapter in the DR Congo’s long history of political instability and highlights the ongoing challenges in maintaining security and democratic integrity in the region.

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