Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coup Attempt in Kinshasa?

Radio Okapi reports that shots were fired this afternoon near the residence of president Joseph Kabila behind the grand Hotel of Kinshasa in the Gombe Commune. People living in the neighborhood were blocked from entering their homes and road blocks were set up on all roads leading to the president's residence.

Reporters observed a significant deployment of the Republican Guard who is responsible for the security of the president. A team of military police have also been deployed near camp Kokolo.

Congo's Minister of Communications, Lambert Mende said on national television that a non identifiable group of commandos attacked the residence of the head of state. He stated that the group was repelled by the presidential guard and calm has returned. Reports say six of the assailants were killed and others were injured and arrested.

Although the international press has reported an attempted coup and six people being killed, we must be extremely cautious. The international press received its information from the Congo's information sic. communication minister Lambert Mende, who is not the most credible source. It has been reported to FOTC that one person was killed and the others have not been found. It is not out of the realm of possibility that this was a staged event by the regime to foment fear among the population and set the stage for increased repression and tightening of the political space leading up to the November elections.

DR Congo: Six killed in 'coup bid' against Kabila

Deaths in DRC 'failed coup attempt'
Al Jazeera

Six dead in failed coup attempt - DR Congo


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