The move comes just days after an attempted coup in DR Congo was foiled FILE PHOTO: President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi. © Maja Hitij / Getty Images

Democratic Republic of the Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has appointed a new government, several months after he was re-elected for a second five-year term.

Tina Salama, spokesperson for the Central African nation’s government, announced the new lineup, made up of 54 ministers against 57 in the previous cabinet, on the state TV channel RTNC on Wednesday.

The downsized government now includes 19 women, up from 14 in the last administration, according to national media.

In January, the Constitutional Court of DR Congo declared Tshisekedi, 60, the winner of the December election, after rejecting legal challenges to the electoral commission’s results.

Tshisekedi, who took office in 2019 in the country’s first peaceful power transition since its independence from Belgium more than six decades ago, won 73% of the vote, defeating 18 rivals.

Last month, the president appointed Judith Suminwa as prime minister, making her the first woman to hold the post.

Vital Kamerhe, a former chief of staff, was also named speaker of Parliament last week, paving the way for the government’s appointment, which, according to Reuters, had been delayed due to internal competition for jobs.

Following the new appointments on Wednesday, Guy Kabombo Muadiamvita is defense minister for DR Congo – a country embroiled in a protracted armed conflict with dozens of rebel factions, including the M23 group in the eastern province. Muadiamvita is a lawyer who formerly led Congo’s official gazette, the journal of record for legal proceedings.

The presidential order,

The Congolese government reportedly said last year that the economy was losing $1 billion annually due to the illegal trade in minerals such as coltan — essential for the production of mobile phones and car batteries — smuggled to Rwanda.

The authorities have accused Western tech giants, particularly Apple, of selling technology made with minerals sourced “illegally” from the country’s troubled east, and have threatened to sue the company.

The formation of the government comes 10 days after an alleged coup involving three US citizens was foiled in the DR Congo.