Democratic Republic of Congo Coup Attempt
Assailants wielding guns and machetes attacked the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential palace Sunday. At least seven people were killed in the battle – President Joseph Kabila and his family was not home at the time.
Kabila quickly blamed opponents and cited the November elections. “It is these people who fear facing me in the elections who did this,” Kabila said, through an advisor. “I am handling the situation wisely.”
Lambert Mende, the government’s communications minister, said the situation was under control and attackers had been killed, wounded or captured. “These people wanted to physically harm the president, but the country and all its institutions are functioning normally,” Mende said.
A witness said the bodies of seven assailants and two bodyguards were visible at the palace grounds.
Joseph Kabila first gained power after the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila in 2001. Joseph Kabila later was elected to the country’s first democratic contest in 2006. Years of dictatorship prior to Laurent Kabila and a prolonged civil war have left the Congo ravaged despite its vast stores of diamonds, gold and minerals.
Eastern Congo is typically a violent place with multiple rebel and other armed groups who terrorize the country’s inhabitants. But violence on the scale seen Sunday is extremely unusual in the capital Kinshasa.
Category: US News