KINSHASA: The chief of police in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been suspended and several officers arrested in the probe into the death of leading human rights campaigner Floribert Chebeya, the interior minister said Sunday.
Reading out a communique on national television, Adolphe Lumanu said President Joseph Kabila was "determined that all light be shed" on Chebeya’s murder.
Lumanu said "to allow the enquiry to be conducted smoothly, the national defense council decided as a precaution to suspend inspector general John Numbi," at an extraordinary meeting on Saturday night.
"Preliminary elements of the enquiry resulted in the questioning and arrest of certain police officers," he added.
The 47-year-old head of the group Voix des Sans Voix (VSV – Voice of the Voiceless) was found dead on Wednesday, tied up in the back seat of his car on a road to the west of the capital Kinshasa.
He went missing with his driver, who has still not been found, late on Tuesday.
According to VSV, he had been due to have a meeting with the police chief at police headquarters.
Numbi, 48, is a close ally of Kabila who appointed him police chief in June 2007.
More than 50 human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have demanded an independent enquiry into the killing in an open letter to Kabila.
Calls for an independent investigation also came Saturday from rights groups in Brazzaville in the neighboring Republic of Congo, and on Friday from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.