Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Congo detains US diplomat

16 March 2015, 08:21

Kinshasa - Congo's security forces detained a US diplomat on Sunday in a raid that also targeted journalists and regional democracy activists and accused them of posing a threat to stability, a government spokesperson said.

The diplomat "was found among a group of people that was believed to be in the process of bringing an attack against state security," Lambert Mende said. He did not disclose the diplomat's name or position.

The US Embassy in Kinshasa did not respond to messages seeking comment. The State Department did not offer additional information when contacted on Sunday night.

The detentions followed a news conference in Kinshasa organized in support of a Congolese movement known as Filimbi that aims for greater youth participation in politics.

Mende did not say how many people were detained. He said the group was held for identification and investigation, and that foreign journalists had been released. He did not have information on whether the diplomat, activists or local journalists had been released.

The activists included members of Burkina Faso's Balai Citoyen and Senegal's Y'en a Marre movements. Both have led large-scale protests in recent years against presidents attempting to extend their time in office.

Also read: DRC police arrest rebel leader

In 2011 and 2012, Y'en a Marre mobilised against the re-election bid of Senegal's then-President Abdoulaye Wade, who ultimately lost to current President Macky Sall. Balai Citoyen proved instrumental in the popular uprising that led to Burkina Faso ex-President Blaise Compaore's fall from power in October after 27 years in office.

Balai Citoyen leader Serge Bambara speculated that the detentions could be linked to the "current political situation" in Congo.

In January, mass protests erupted in Congo against proposed changes to the electoral law that were widely seen as an attempt by President Joseph Kabila to prolong his time in power. Human Rights Watch reported that at least 40 people were killed in Kinshasa and the eastern city of Goma.

Associated Press writers Robbie Corey-Boulet and Brahima Ouedraogo in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and Babacar Dione in Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report.

- AP

Tags us congo

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wizkid set for twin Kenyan shows

Wizkid is back in Kenya. For two shows.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Uhuru pardons 2747 death row conv...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pardoned a number of death row convicts, sending them to life sentences instead. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?