Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Italian ambassador in Kinshasa (DRC) killed in armed attack – rts.ch


The Italian ambassador in Kinshasa was shot dead in an armed attack on Monday. It targeted a World Food Program (WFP) convoy during a visit near Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“It is with deep sadness that the Foreign Ministry confirms the death, today in Goma, of the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luca Attanasio, and of a soldier,” said a statement . According to a diplomatic source in Kinshasa, the diplomat was shot dead.

Luca Attanasio, Italian Ambassador in Kinshasa. [ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY HANDOUT – KEYSTONE]They were traveling by car “in a Monusco convoy”, the mission of the peacekeepers which has been present in the DRC for twenty years, further specifies the ministry’s statement. This region is home to the Virunga National Park, a natural, touristic and threatened gem, which is also the theater of conflicts in this region of North Kivu, where dozens of armed groups compete for control of the wealth of the soil and the subsoil. .

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who was in Brussels for a meeting with his European counterparts, announced his early return to Rome. As for Italian President Sergio Mattarella, he denounces a “cowardly attack”.

In office since 2019

Luca Attanasio, 43, had been ambassador to the DRC since October 2019, after arriving in the country two years earlier as head of mission, according to his official biography. He entered a diplomatic career at the end of 2003, after studying business at the Luigi Bocconi University of Milan.

He started in the Directorate of Economic Affairs, before working on African issues and international cooperation. Abroad, he was first appointed head of the economic and commercial section at the Bern embassy (2006-2010), then consul general in Casablanca, Morocco (2010-2013). After a stint in Rome, he also became a counselor at the Italian Embassy in Nigeria in 2015.

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