DR Congo military intelligence chief died after a heart attack, his wife said, following media reports an investigation was opened into allegations he tried to destabilise the country.
Delphin Kahimbi was under EU sanctions over alleged human rights abuses when commanding operations against rebels in eastern DRC in the 200Os and during his tenure as military intelligence chief.
Kahimbi was appointed by former President Joseph Kabila and his successor as head of state, Felix Tshisekedi, was under pressure from the US to hold the general to account for alleged human rights abuses.
“He had a heart attack at home and he died soon after arrival at the hospital,” his wife, Brenda Kahimbi, told Reuters.
Sources in the security service said Kahimbi was recently suspended over accusations he sought to hide weapons and destabilise the country.
Kahimbi was also barred from leaving the country, security and sources in the migration service said.
The military confirmed Kahimbi’s death but did not confirm cause or comment on accusations against him or reports of his suspension.
“All steps have been taken to clarify the circumstances of this sad loss,” a representative of the military high command, Don de Dieu Kilumba, said in a video statement, announcing the launch of an investigation.
Kahimbi was included in December 2016 on a list of Democratic Republic of Congo officials whose assets were frozen and barred from travelling to the EU.
In response to reports Kahimbi was suspended, US ambassador to Congo, Mike Hammer, wrote on Twitter: “As we have consistently said, those who are corrupt, commit violations of human rights, or disrupt the democratic process should be held accountable.”