The Congolese Government has moved swiftly to quash rumors of a coup allegedly removing long-term President Denis Nguesso from power. Officials from the government have categorically denied any coup attempt, dismissing such reports as “fake news.”
On September 17, unconfirmed reports began circulating, suggesting a military coup was unfolding in Congo. These reports also indicated that the military was taking control of strategic facilities at a time when President Nguesso was in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
In response to these allegations, Congo’s Minister of Information, Thierry Moungalla, took to Twitter to address the situation, saying, “URGENT – Fanciful information suggests serious events that are underway at #Brazzaville. The Government denies this fake news. We reassure public opinion about the calm that reigns and invite people to calmly go about their activities.”
President Denis Nguesso, who is 78 years old, has held the reins of power in Congo for an impressive 38 years. His presidency has seen two separate tenures, from 1979 to 1992 and a subsequent return in 1997 following a period of civil conflict, and he has remained in office since then.
The alleged coup reports in Congo are indicative of a concerning trend across Africa, where coup attempts appear to be on the rise. Recent instances include coup attempts in Gabon and Niger. These developments underscore the regional and international challenges posed by political instability in various African nations.
As the situation in Congo continues to unfold, both domestic and international observers will be closely monitoring events to ascertain the veracity of the reports and to gauge the stability of the country in the absence of President Denis Nguesso during his participation in the United Nations General Assembly.