The vehicles were on their way from Goma, the capital of the troubled North Kivu province, to the picturesque town of Bukavu on Lake Kivu when they were attacked with light weapons by members of one of the armed groups there.
An Italian convoy in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was killed today in an attack on an international convoy near the town of Goma. Luca Attanasio and a 30-year-old carabinieri who took care of his safety, reports the Italian news agency Ansa.
Attanasio died at the hospital where he was transported after being shot in the abdomen in an attack on a United Nations convoy. According to Anse, it was a convoy of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, called Monusco. The head of the European Union delegation to the DRC is also said to be in the convoy of vehicles in which the ambassador was driving.
The vehicles were en route from the city of Goma, the capital of the troubled North Kivu province, to the picturesque town of Bukavu on Lake Kivu, in the Virunga Nature Park, which is known for its endangered mountain gorilla population.
According to the employees of the national park, the convoy was attacked by members of one of the many armed groups there at around 10 am local time near Kanyamahoro and wanted to rob it. The kidnapping could also be a target.
It is a mountainous area between DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, where several armed militias operate, fighting each other for great natural resources. They also often carry out mass kidnappings and attack foreign convoys and security guards in the national park. In addition, many wild hunters operate in the area. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
In addition to the 43-year-old ambassador and his 30-year-old security guard Victory Iacovaccija According to diplomatic sources, their driver, who was probably not Italian, was also killed in the attack.
Both the Italian Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio they confirmed the death of the ambassador and a member of the military police and expressed deep regret. Due to the incident, Di Maio also left today’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels early. As he claimed to be investigating the murder of “two servants of the state”.
A similar statement was made from the Italian president’s office Sergia Rolling blocks and the Prime Minister’s Office Maria Draghija.
The developments are being discussed by EU foreign ministers
At noon press conference of the European Commission, the news of the attack on the UN convoy and the death of the Italian ambassador were described as appalling and extremely worrying, and they claimed that they were closely following the developments with the EU delegation in the DRC. The dramatic developments are now being discussed by EU foreign ministers, who have been briefed on the situation by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Josep Borrell. The latter has already expressed his condolences to Italy, the UN and the victims of violence in the DRC.
The Slovenian Foreign Ministry has already responded by writing on Twitter that Slovenia strongly condemns the attack on the UN convoy in the DRC, and expressed its condolences to Italy and the families of Ambassador Attanasio and other victims of the horrific attack.
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