Army says it foiled coup in Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital

Exiled opposition leader warns President Félix Tshisekedi ‘we are coming for you’

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army says it “foiled a coup” early on Sunday morning and arrested the perpetrators, including several foreigners, following a shoot-out between armed men in military uniform and guards of a close ally of Congo’s president that left three people dead in the capital, Kinshasa.

At first, local media identified the armed men as Congolese soldiers but then reported they were linked to self-exiled opposition leader Christian Malanga, who later posted a video on Facebook threatening President Félix Tshisekedi.

Mr Tshisekedi was re-elected as president in December in a chaotic vote amid calls for a revote from the opposition over what they said was a lack of transparency.

The Central African country has witnessed similar trends of disputed elections in the past.


Congolese army spokesman Brigr Gen Sylvain Ekenge said on state television on Sunday that the attempted coup d’etat was “nipped in the bud by Congolese defence and security forces (and) the situation is under control”.

He did not give further details.

This also came amid a crisis gripping Mr Tshisekedi’s ruling party over an election for the parliament’s leadership which was supposed to be held on Saturday but was postponed.

Clashes were reported on Sunday between men in military uniform and guards of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and a candidate for speaker of the National Assembly of Congo, at his residence in Kinshasa, about 2km from the presidential palace and where some embassies are also located.

Mr Kamerhe’s guards stopped the armed men, Michel Moto Muhima, the politician’s spokesperson said on the X social media platform, adding that two police officers and one of the attackers were killed in the shoot-out that started around 4.30am.

Footage, seemingly from the area, showed military lorries and heavily armed men parading deserted streets in the neighbourhood as the army said the situation has been brought under control.

Meanwhile, the self-exiled Mr Malanga appeared in the live-streamed video surrounded by several people in military uniform and said: “Félix, you’re out.

“We are coming for you.”

On his website, the opposition leader’s group – the United Congolese Party (UCP) – is described as “a grassroots platform that unifies the Congolese diaspora around the world opposing the current Congolese dictatorship”.

Mr Tshisekedi has not so far addressed the public about Sunday’s events.

On Friday, he met with parliamentarians and leaders of the Sacred Union of the Nation ruling coalition in an attempt to resolve the crisis seizing his party, which dominates the national assembly.

He said he would not “hesitate to dissolve the National Assembly and send everyone to new elections if these bad practices persist”.