Congolese Army Says it Has Foiled a Coup

Congo's  President Felix Tshisekedi.(File/Reuters)
Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi.(File/Reuters)
TT

Congolese Army Says it Has Foiled a Coup

Congo's  President Felix Tshisekedi.(File/Reuters)
Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi.(File/Reuters)

Congo's army says it has “foiled a coup” early Sunday morning and arrested the perpetrators, including several foreigners, following a shootout 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 Felix Tshisekedi.

Tshisekedi was reelected 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 spokesperson Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge said on state television Sunday that the attempted coup d’état was “nipped in the bud by Congolese defense and security forces (and) the situation is under control.” He did not give further details.

This also came amid a crisis gripping Tshisekedi's ruling party over an election for the parliament’s leadership which was supposed to be held Saturday but got postponed, The AP reported.

Clashes were reported 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 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the presidential palace and where some embassies are also located.

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 shootout that started around 4:30 a.m.

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

Meanwhile, the self-exiled Malanga appeared in the live-streamed video surrounded by several people in military uniform and said: “Felix 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.”

Tshisekedi hasn't 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.”

The United States Embassy in Congo issued a security alert Sunday, urging caution after "reports of gunfire.”



Canada Navy Patrol Ship Arrive in Cuba on Heels of Russian Warships

The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
TT

Canada Navy Patrol Ship Arrive in Cuba on Heels of Russian Warships

The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

A Canadian navy patrol ship sailed into Havana early on Friday, just hours after the United States announced a fast-attack submarine had docked at its Guantanamo naval base in Cuba, both vessels on the heels of Russian warships that arrived on the island earlier this week.
The confluence of Russian, Canadian and US vessels in Cuba - a Communist-run island nation just 145 km (90 miles) south of Florida - was a reminder of old Cold War tensions and fraught ties between Russia and Western nations over the Ukraine war, Reuters said.
However, both the US and Cuba have said the Russian warships pose no threat to the region. Russia has also characterized the arrival of its warships in allied Cuba as routine.
The Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, half submerged with its crew on deck, sailed into Havana harbor on Wednesday after conducting "high-precision missile weapons" training in the Atlantic Ocean, Russia's defense ministry said.
Canada`s Margaret Brooke patrol vessel began maneuvers early on Friday to enter Havana harbor, part of what the Canadian Joint Operations Command called "a port visit ... in recognition of the long-standing bilateral relationship between Canada and Cuba."
Hours earlier, the US Southern Command said the fast-attack submarine Helena had arrived on a routine port visit to Guantanamo Bay, a US naval base on the tip of the island around 850 km (530 miles) southeast of Havana.
"The vessel's location and transit were previously planned," Southern Command said on X.
Cuba`s foreign ministry said it had been informed of the arrival of the US submarine but was not happy about it.
"Naval visits to a country are usually the result of an invitation, and this was not the case," said Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío.
"Obviously we do not like the presence in our territory (of a submarine) belonging to a power that maintains an official and practical policy that is hostile against Cuba."
A Canadian diplomat characterized the Margaret Brooke`s arrival as "routine and part of long-standing cooperation between our two countries", adding it was "unrelated to the presence of the Russian ships."
Russia and Cuba were close allies under the former Soviet Union, and tensions with Washington over communism in its "backyard" peaked with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Moscow has maintained ties with Havana.
When asked what message Moscow was sending, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday the West never appeared to take notice when Russia sent signals through diplomatic channels.
"As soon as it comes to exercises or sea voyages, we immediately hear questions and a desire to know what these messages are about," Zakharova said. "Why do only signals related only to our army and navy reach the West?"
The Russian warships are expected to remain in Havana harbor until Monday.