Attempted Coup in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: What We Know So Far

In the early hours of Sunday, May 19, 2024, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) faced a startling event when an attempted coup d’état unfolded in the heart of its capital, Kinshasa. The coup, led by the controversial Congolese politician Christian Malanga, aimed to overthrow President Félix Tshisekedi but ultimately failed, resulting in a dramatic series of events and numerous casualties.

The coup attempt was broadcast live on Facebook by Malanga, who made three videos from inside the Palais de la Nation, the president’s official office. Malanga, disillusioned with the current government, cited rampant corruption and the mishandling of the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo as primary motivations for his actions. He declared his intent to “free the Congo,” and in a symbolic gesture, raised the flag of Zaire, the DRC’s former name, before it was changed in 1997.

In his first video, Malanga expressed deep dissatisfaction with President Félix Tshisekedi’s administration, exclaiming, “Felix, you’re out… Felix Dégage!” He involved his son, Marcel Malanga, in the operation, emphasizing the dire conditions faced by soldiers’ families and the broader Congolese population.

The subsequent videos showed Malanga and his group moving in and out of the palace, appearing restless and anxious. Notably, whenever foreign soldiers, especially Caucasian ones, appeared, they avoided the camera. Among them was one wearing a uniform with a US flag, sparking further speculation about international involvement.

However, Malanga’s coup attempt was short-lived. As the group attempted to flee to Congo-Brazzaville via the Congo River, Malanga and several others were killed. Malanga’s son, Marcel Malanga and Malanga’s business partner, Benjamin Reuben Zalman-Polun, were arrested. Reports indicate that Zalman-Polun was captured while trying to swim across the river.

The Congolese government reported that the assailants also attacked the residences of key government officials, including the Minister of Economy, Vital Kamhere, the Minister of Defense, Jean Pierre Mbemba, and the newly appointed Prime Minister, Judith Suminwa Tuluka. However, no substantial evidence has been provided to support these claims.

The politician’s ties to Benjamin Reuben Zalman-Polun, a businessman with connections to influential figures in Republican circles on Capitol Hill, add a layer of complexity to the narrative. Zalman-Polun’s connections to Israel and the IDF also suggest a possible international dimensions to the coup attempt. Reports indicate that Zalman-Polun might be a dual US/Israeli citizen.

Malanga is a Congolese politician known for his outspoken criticism of the current government. He has a background in both politics and business and has been involved in various opposition activities. Malanga’s rhetoric focused on fighting corruption and improving the lives of ordinary Congolese citizens. However, his methods and associations, particularly with controversial figures like Zalman-Polun, have drawn scrutiny and criticism.

The coup attempt resulted in several casualties, including the death of Kevin Tamba, an innocent civilian who was killed when Malanga’s group commandeered his vehicle. The full extent of the casualties and the identities of the foreign mercenaries involved remain unclear.

Tshisekedi has been the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since January 24, 2019. He is the son of the late Étienne Tshisekedi, a prominent Congolese politician and leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS). His election marked the first peaceful transfer of power in the DRC since its independence in 1960. Tshisekedi’s tenure has been marked by efforts to combat corruption, improve governance, and address the ongoing conflict in the eastern regions of the country. However, his administration has faced criticism for not sufficiently tackling these issues.

Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Attempted Coup in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: What We Know So Far

  • May 31, 2024 1:55 PM at 1:55 pm

    Tshisekedi will not tackle those issues because He doesn’t have full support of the nation, and he need to announce next election he can choose to run again or not, He has a name with no action. He need to build the country. look at Kigali, Do something like that in Bukavu. People to fly to their capital city any time. build train from Bukavu to Kinshasa, the nation will love Him and fully support him. No coup, will ever succeed great job on coup.


Leave a Reply