Congo's government spokesman says a top general based in the country's volatile east has died.

Lambert Mende said Sunday that Gen. Lucien Bahuma, 57, died Saturday after being evacuated to South Africa from Uganda, where he had been attending a military meeting in the town of Kasese.

Mende said Bahuma died of an apparent cardiovascular problem and an autopsy will be conducted.

Bahuma was leading operations against the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group reportedly backed by Ugandan Muslims.

The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on the rebel group in July, accusing it of committing "serious violations" of international law including recruiting child soldiers.

Bahuma's death is the second major blow to Congo's military leadership in the east this year following an explosion that killed a top colonel in January.