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DRC former police chief Gen. John Numbi wanted by authorities

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Human Rights

Prosecutors of the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched an investigation into former police chief General John Numbi over the high-profile murder of a human rights activist.

General Numbi is suspected of orchestrating the killing of Floribert Chebeya, whose body was found in his car on the outskirts of capital city Kinshasa in June 2010.

The day before the murder, Chebeya, the head of the Voice for the Voiceless (VSV) group, had been called to a police station, supposedly to meet General Numbi.

Five police officers have been convicted for the murder, three of them in absentia.

But in February, new evidence emerged, prompting human rights groups to call for a reopening of the case.

Two police officers, now living in exile, said they took part in Chebeya's murder, and claim General Numbi had ordered them to take out the human rights activist.

Numbi who was suspended shortly after Chebeya's murder, was placed under US and European sanctions in 2016, for a police crackdown on protests in the region of Bas Congo. 

But Numbi was appointed armed forces inspector general the following year.

According to several sources, Numbi has fled to Zimbabwe. The DRC has issue an arrest warrant, and could look to have the General extradited to be questionned by prosecutors on his role in the murder.