The Italian ambassador to the DRC killed in an attack

The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Luca Attanasio, was killed Monday morning with his bodyguard and a driver of the World Food Program (WFP) in an attack by armed men against a convoy of the UN agency about ten kilometers north of the city of Goma, in North Kivuu province.
Italy’s ambassador to Kinshasa, Luca Attanasio, was shot and killed Monday in an armed attack on a World Food Program (WFP) convoy during a visit near Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, RFI learned from the governor of North Kivu.
According to one source, the attack took place around 10:15 a.m. about ten kilometers north of Goma, at a place called “3 antennas”.
This stretch of road between Goma and the Virunga Park is known to be a sanctuary for armed groups including the Rwandan FDLR rebels, Mayi-Mayi militias, and criminal gangs who live off kidnapping.
In the afternoon of Monday, February 22, the Congolese Interior Ministry accused the FDLR of being behind the attack. “A convoy of the World Food Program (WFP) was the victim of an armed attack by elements of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda,” a statement said. FDLR denied its implication in the attack.
The WFP-stamped Jeep in which the ambassador was travelling was targeted by a group of assailants. This group reportedly attempted to remove the seven passengers from the vehicle. Alerted, guards from ICCN, the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature, who were nearby, then intervened, but the driver of the vehicle and the Ambassador’s bodyguard were fatally shot.
Luca Attanasio, meanwhile, died moments later in hospital from serious gunshot wounds to the abdomen, according to the governor of the North Kivu province. The Italian ambassador was on his way to Rutshuru on Monday to observe the activities of the World Food Programme on the spot.
After expressing her condolences, the Congolese Foreign Minister, Marie Tumba Nzeza, promised “that the (Congolese) government will do everything possible to find out who is behind this despicable murder. She then visited the ambassador’s family.
For his part, the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres asked the DRC to “diligently investigate” the attack.
Luca Attanasio, 43 years old and father of three daughters who lived with him and his wife, was one of the youngest Italian ambassadors in the world, serving in Kinshasa since 2017. Carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci, a member of his escort, would have turned 31 on March 31.

About Geraldine Boechat 2684 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia