General Delphin Kahimbi

Congo’s military intelligence chief, General Delphin Kahimbi died on Friday after suffering a heart attack, his wife said.

His death followed media reports that an investigation had been opened into allegations that he tried to destabilize the country.

Kahimbi was also under European Union sanctions over alleged human rights abuses when he commanded operations against rebels in east Democratic Republic of Congo in the 200Os and during his tenure as military intelligence chief.

Kahimbi was appointed by former President Joseph Kabila. Kabila’s successor as head of state, Felix Tshisekedi, had been under pressure from the United States to hold the general to account for alleged human rights abuses.


“He had a heart attack at home and he died soon after we arrived at the hospital,” his wife, Brenda Kahimbi, told Reuters by phone.

Two sources in the security service said Kahimbi had recently been suspended over the accusations that he had sought to hide weapons and destabilize the country.

Kahimbi was also barred this month from leaving the country, the security sources and two sources in the migration service said.

The military confirmed Kahimbi’s death but did not confirm the cause or comment on the accusations against him or the reports that he had been suspended.