Rumours of an attempted coup d’état rocked DRC on the weekend of February 5-6, 2022. Felix Tshisekedi was in Addis Ababa for the handover and resumption with Senegalese President Macky Sall, who succeeded him as chairman of the African Union. In Kinshasa, Tshisekedi supporters and ruling party activists took to the streets, erecting barricades to protest a possible coup attempt.
Congolese social networks are abuzz: some say it is a doubtful set-up aimed at distracting; others even hope that this coup attempt will succeed. Kikaya Bin Karubi, a close associate of former president Joseph Kabila living in exile since last year, tweeted that “DRC will not be an exception to the wave of coups” in Africa. He ended up deleting his tweet. This raises suspicions that the entourage of former President Kabila is involved in the plot.
Arrest of Félix Tshisekedi’s security officer
At the same time, the Head of State’s special security advisor, François Beya, was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR). The media present him as the mastermind, or rather, the architect of the coup attempt. Meanwhile, the head of state, Felix Tshisekedi, who was in Addis Ababa, returned to Kinshasa in a hurry.
His spokesman, Kasongo Mwema Yamba Y’amba, speaking on the 8:00 p.m. local news on national television, spoke of the arrest of François Beya in these terms: “The investigation is ongoing, but there is serious evidence of actions against national security…” He also took care of adding that the situation is under control.
Some senators involved?
Several names of members of the Senate are mentioned in this alleged plot to destabilize the country. Some media reported a secret meeting held in this regard between senators close to Joseph Kabila, a meeting allegedly held Monday, February 7 in a private residence of the former governor of Kinshasa, André Kimbuta.
Among the incriminated senators are Evariste Boshab, Thambwe Mwamba, Samy Badibanga and former Prime Minister Matata Ponyo, all former collaborators of Joseph Kabila. It is no surprise that they categorically denied taking part in any meeting aimed at destabilizing the institutions of the Republic.
On Thursday, February 10, 2022, Deputy Zoé Kabila, Joseph Kabila’s biological brother and former governor of Tanganyika was arrested at Kinshasa airport and his passport confiscated as he tried to board a plane to South Africa. His passport was returned to him a few hours later, but he was not allowed to travel to South Africa.
In short, the case continues to make waves in Kinshasa. President Tshisekedi has appointed a new special security advisor. And on Saturday, February 12, the Congolese witnessed a remarkable show of force by the Republican Guard. Some 5,000 men were deployed in several neighbourhoods of the capital Kinshasa for “an endurance walk“.