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AMERICAN CONCERN: USA Set to Request Consular Access For its Arrested Nationals in DR Congo Failed Coup Attempt

The United States of America (USA) has expressed extreme concern over the recent reports of its nationals’ involvement in last Sunday’s failed coup in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Monday, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed the US were set to submit a request to the DR Congo officials for consular access in the coming days.

According to DR Congo authorities, at least three Americans were arrested following a coup d’etat which was foiled by the Congolese army with the main mastermind of the attack Christian Malanga killed alongside several of his soldiers while others fled.

Speaking to the press, Miller condemned the armed attacks on the residence of Vital Kamerhe, president of the National Assembly, as well as the Palais de Nation, the office of the Congolese head of state.

“We denounce political violence in all its forms,” he said, assuring that his country is closely monitoring the situation and will cooperate as much as possible with the DRC authorities to investigate.

Regarding the involvement of American citizens, particularly the deceased Christian Malanga, Matthew Miller denied that US government “has no record of his American citizenship”.

And about the two US nationals arrested, Miller said: “Due to privacy restrictions that you are all familiar with, I cannot comment on these cases in detail – other than to say that every time a U.S. citizen is arrested abroad, we seek consular access, and we would do so in all circumstances,” he concluded.

When a US citizen is arrested abroad, the Department of State ensures that they receive fair and humane treatment and provides the necessary assistance to imprisoned citizens and their families without circumventing the laws and regulations in force in the country concerned.

However, federal law does not authorize agents of the Department of State and US embassies and consulates abroad to substitute for agents, attorneys, or fiduciary agents on behalf of US citizens involved in legal disputes abroad. Also, State Department staff, including its attorneys, do not provide legal advice to the public.

And while the US government can make regular visits to the detained citizen and provide a general overview of local criminal proceedings, it cannot “release U.S. citizens incarcerated abroad, send a message to the court indicting or exonerating an individual, give legal advice, or represent U.S. citizens in courts abroad” the US law states.

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