Congolese Army Says It Foiled a Coup Involving Americans

The military of the Democratic Republic of Congo said on Sunday that it had foiled a coup attempt involving foreigners, hours after a gunfight near the presidential palace in which at least three people were killed.

In a brief statement on state television, an army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Sylvain Ekenge, initially offered little detail about the purported putsch in the capital, Kinshasa, other than to say that the plotters and their leader had been “put out of action.”

But he later told The Associated Press that three Americans were among the perpetrators, and the United States ambassador to Congo, Lucy Tamlyn, acknowledged publicly that American citizens may have been involved.

The United States will cooperate “to the fullest extent” with the Congolese authorities “as they investigate these criminal acts and hold accountable any U.S. citizen involved.,” she said on X, formerly Twitter.

Her statement came hours after videos circulated widely on social media showing a white man with a bloodied face sitting at the feet of Congolese soldiers — one of three Americans the military accused of involvement.

President Felix Tshisekedi, who was re-elected for a second term after a chaotic vote in December, was unharmed in the incident. But its brief and apparently confused nature, as well as many incongruous details, left many Congolese puzzled on Sunday and triggered intense speculation about who was behind it, or whether it was even a genuine coup attempt.

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