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DR Congo Discloses Third American In Coup Plot

CONGO’S army spokesperson unveiled the identity of the third American involved in the thwarted coup plot in Kinshasa, as family members in Utah, United States,  gathered to mourn Christian Malanga, the audacious leader of the failed attack on the presidential palace over the weekend.

Brig. Gen. Sylvain Ekenge disclosed to The Associated Press that the third American was Taylor Thomson, although it remains unclear if Thomson was among those apprehended or killed during the assault on the palace and another on the residence of a close ally of President Felix Tshisekedi.


Malanga, characterised as a naturalized American by Ekenge, met his demise in a shootout at the palace while resisting arrest. The State Department, however, refrained from confirming Malanga’s US citizenship. The other two Americans implicated were a convicted marijuana trafficker and Malanga’s 21-year-old son, Marcel.

Authorities are grappling with unravelling how Marcel transitioned from playing high school football in Utah to allegedly partaking in a bid to overthrow the leader of one of Africa’s largest nations. ‘My son is innocent,’ Marcel’s mother, Brittney Sawyer, told The Associated Press, declining further comments.

Meanwhile, in a solemn gathering at the West Jordan home of Malanga’s mother, Chantal Malanga, relatives convened to mourn the deceased leader. Amidst the mourning, discussions ensued regarding plans for a potential funeral in Utah.

Malanga’s recruitment of the other Americans for the ill-fated attack remains shrouded in mystery. However, connections between Malanga and Benjamin Reuben Zalman-Polun, who pleaded guilty to trafficking marijuana in 2015, suggest a link through a gold mining venture established in Mozambique in 2022.

American businessman Cole Ducey, associated with the mining company in Mozambique, clarified his brief acquaintance with Malanga and Zalman-Polun, emphasizing no involvement in Congo’s political turmoil.

The coup attempt, initiated at the residence of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and candidate for speaker of the National Assembly of Congo, was met with resistance from Kamerhe’s guards, resulting in the attackers’ demise.

Analysts speculate on possible internal betrayals in the foiled plot, considering Malanga’s prior relationships with key military figures in Tshisekedi’s administration. Dino Mahtani, a former journalist and political adviser to the UN in Congo, suggested the involvement of internal elements in the failed coup.

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