DRC army says thwarts attempted coup to “return to Zaire”, foreign mercenaries arrested

Mohamed Samir
2 Min Read

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army announced on Sunday that it had thwarted an attempted coup aimed at returning the country to its former name, Zaire. The Palais de la Nation, the residence of Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Vital Kamerhe, was the target of an attack around 4 a.m.

DRC army spokesperson, in a televised address, said the attempted coup “involved Congolese and foreign fighters,” adding that “American mercenaries had been arrested.”

DRC government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya confirmed on X (formerly Twitter) that “the attackers have been put out of action” and called on the population “to go about their business freely,” promising additional details would be provided later in the day.

The army identified the leader of the coup attempt as Christian Malanga Musumari, a former military officer turned businessman living in the United States. Malanga is the president of the Congolese United Party (UCP) and is known for his activism within the Congolese diaspora and on social media.

In a live video on his Facebook page, Malanga was seen inside the Palais de la Nation, being called “President Malanga of Zaïre” by his son. Malanga declared that “from today, the DRC no longer exists, it is Zaïre.”

Local media reported that most of Malanga’s accomplices were either killed or arrested by the Republican Guard, including his 22-year-old son, Marcel Malanga.

The attackers were able to penetrate the residence of Vital Kamerhe, despite the supposed protection of the Republican Guard.

This coup attempt comes at a time when the eastern DRC is experiencing fighting between the M23 movement and the DRC armed forces, who are supported by pro-government militias including Wazalendo and the Burundian army.

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Mohamed Samir Khedr is an economic and political journalist, analyst, and editor specializing in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean. For the past decade, he has covered Egypt's and the MENA region's financial, business, and geopolitical updates. Currently, he is the Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt, where he leads a team of journalists in producing high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on the region's most pressing issues. His work has been featured in leading international publications. Samir is a highly respected expert on the Middle East and Africa, and his insights are regularly sought by policymakers, academics, and business leaders. He is a passionate advocate for independent journalism and a strong believer in the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. Twitter: https://twitter.com/Moh_S_Khedr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mohamed-samir-khedr/
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