December 2, 2023

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Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio killed in Congo throughout attack on UN food stuff support convoy

Attanasio, 43, experienced been representing Italy in Kinshasa considering the fact that 2017. He joined the diplomatic company in 2003 and served previously in Switzerland, Morocco and Nigeria

Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio killed in Congo during attack on UN food aid convoy

File image of Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio. Picture courtesy: @DDIndialive

Goma: Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed on Monday when a UN convoy arrived underneath attack in the troubled east, DRC sources and the federal government in Rome claimed.

Luca Attanasio died of his wounds after a Entire world Food stuff Programme (WFP) convoy came below fireplace near Goma when he was on a industry vacation to the location, a senior diplomatic resource stated in Kinshasa. Two other men and women also died, Big Guillaume Djike, the army’s spokesman in North Kivu province explained to AFP.

Other sources mentioned those two fatalities were the envoy’s driver and bodyguard, and the WFP stated “a selection of other passengers” were being injured. Attanasio’s death was confirmed by the Italy’s international ministry.

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi presented his “deepest condolences”, though President Sergio Mattarella condemned the “cowardly attack”.

“The Italian republic is in mourning for these servants of the Point out who dropped their life,” Mattarella mentioned in a assertion. And International Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed his “terrific dismay and immense sorrow”, breaking off from a assembly in Brussels with EU counterparts to make an early return to Rome.

“The instances of this brutal attack are not still known and no hard work will be spared to lose light on what occurred,” Di Maio mentioned, having to pay tribute to the victims as “two servants of the Condition”.

Attanasio, 43, experienced been symbolizing Italy in Kinshasa considering the fact that 2017, the international ministry reported. He joined the diplomatic provider in 2003 and served previously in Switzerland, Morocco and Nigeria.

The envoy experienced “gunshot wounds to the abdomen” and was taken to a medical center in Goma in significant ailment, the diplomat in Kinshasa claimed. The DRC’s military said its troops were looking the location for the assailants.

Troubled region

A vast nation the dimension of continental western Europe, the DRC is grappling with a lot of conflicts, particularly in its distant, mineral-loaded east.

Scores of militias roam the 4 japanese provinces, several of them a legacy of wars in the 1990s that sucked in international locations all over central-southern Africa and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

In accordance to the Italian international ministry, the ambassador and the policeman had been with a convoy of MONUSCO, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo.

But WFP verified that Attanasio was on a simple fact-acquiring mission with the UN’s foodstuff agency. “The delegation was travelling from Goma to stop by a WFP college feeding programme in Rutshuru when the incident took position,” it claimed in a assertion.
“The attack… occurred on a highway that experienced previously been cleared for vacation without having security escorts,” it stated.
Monday’s assault transpired north of Goma, in Nyiaragongo Territory.

Armed groups in the region contain a Rwandan Hutu militia referred to as the FDLR, as nicely as the M23, also recognised as the Congolese Innovative Military. The location features the UNESCO-mentioned Virunga National Park, a vast wildlife reserve that is residence to a quarter of the world’s inhabitants of critically endangered mountain gorillas.

More than 200 of the park’s rangers have been killed in assaults stretching back again more than a ten years. The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, stated previous week that more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in North and South Kivu and Ituri province past year.

Attanasio is the next European ambassador to have been killed when serving in the DRC. In January 1993, French ambassador Philippe Bernard was killed through riots in Kinshasa sparked by troops opposing dictator Mobutu Sese Seke.

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