First Time Abroad Turns into Desperate Plea for Survival for US Man

futuristman /
futuristman /

In a recent international incident that sounds like a plot straight out of a Hollywood thriller, a 21-year-old American man, Tyler Thompson, found himself in a dire situation during his first trip abroad. The setting? The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he reportedly got entangled in a failed coup attempt.

The botched uprising, led by Christian Malanga, took a tragic turn, resulting in Malanga’s death and the detention of 50 individuals, including Thompson and two other Americans. Tyler Thompson, along with Benjamin Reuben Zalman-Polun and Marcel Malanga, found themselves in the middle of a chaotic situation, with Thompson even appearing in a distressing video, seemingly pleading for his life.

Thompson’s family revealed that he embarked on this journey to visit his friend Marcel’s family, marking his first venture overseas. According to Miranda Thompson, Tyler’s stepmother, they thought Tyler was enjoying a vacation in South Africa until they received the shocking news of his arrest in the DRC. It was a bewildering turn of events for the family, who had no clue of Tyler’s involvement in political activities.

Miranda Thompson expressed her disbelief and anguish at seeing images of Tyler being detained and mistreated by Congolese soldiers, emphasizing that this was entirely out of character for him. She reiterated that Tyler had no intentions of engaging in political activism during his trip.

The circumstances surrounding Tyler’s presence in the DRC remain murky, leaving his loved ones desperate for answers. Video footage circulating on social media depicts the harrowing ordeal Tyler endured, further intensifying concerns about his safety and well-being.

Christian Malanga, the mastermind behind the failed coup, had ties to the United Congolese Party, an opposition group aiming to overthrow President Felix Tshisekedi’s government. Malanga’s motives and connections, including his affiliation with industries like gold mining, raise questions about the complexities underlying the coup attempt.

As the fate of Tyler Thompson hangs in the balance, the lack of confirmation from the Congolese government compounds the distress felt by his family and friends. The swift action taken by Congolese security forces to quash the insurgency is commendable, but it offers little solace to those awaiting news of Tyler’s safety.

The story of Tyler Thompson serves as a sobering reminder of the unpredictability of international travel and the unforeseen dangers that may lurk beyond familiar shores. Please consider the realities of the places you choose to visit, as you may end up being an unfortunate statistic.