The murder of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa Luca Atanazio, and the killing of two people in his convoy in an armed attack, is not isolated from the violent context in which this African country is witnessing. The attack this time targeted a World Food Program convoy in North Goma, the center of North Kivu province, which has been repeatedly subjected to violent acts by armed groups for more than 25 years.
This region includes the Virunga National Park, which is a threatened tourist nature reserve, and also testifies to the conflicts taking place in North Kivu, where armed groups fight over control of land resources, according to local officials, according to France 24.
No group has claimed responsibility for this attack, but observers have confirmed that the terrorist organization ISIS is very active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is the second largest African country after Algeria. Eastern Uganda, 8 policemen were killed.
Last October, the organization attacked a large prison in the north-east of the country, and was able to release 1,300 prisoners, hundreds of them militants.
“ISIS” was not able to seize important towns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but it launched sporadic attacks in the eastern regions of the country, in which 12 other armed groups spread.
According to a report on the “Masr Al Arabiya” website, several militant groups are active in the Congo, most notably the “Congolese Development Cooperation” or “Codeco”. In the midst of the world’s preoccupation with the war against extremist groups in the Sahel region, a new branch of ISIS has emerged in the Congo and some of its neighboring countries.
The killing of a UN diplomat inside the Congo may put the African country in front of a major disaster. Congo, that country rich in natural resources, is one of the poorest countries in Africa, so the capital Kinshasa is described as the land of the rich and the country of the poor. Congo is considered one of the countries with the richest in various minerals on the African continent, and the search for minerals has led to conflicts between the rebels and the army that left more than five million people dead in the past decade.
On February 18, a report issued by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that the lives and futures of more than three million displaced children in the DRC were at risk. The report stated that a series of horrific attacks in the east of the country, launched by fighters using machetes and heavy weapons, forced entire communities to flee with the least possessions. He said that entire families, including children, were killed in horrific ways, health centers and schools were looted and villages burned.
“UNICEF” says the situation is still volatile, and that the Congolese army is trying to confront the armed groups and impose its control.
Two days before the UNICEF report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed concern about the ongoing atrocities committed by armed groups in eastern DRC, which have become part of a systematic pattern of spreading fear among civilians and spreading chaos.
In 2020, UNHCR’s partners recorded the deaths of more than 200 people, a record number, in the three eastern provinces: Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, said Babar Baloch, a spokesman for the UNHCR. The vast majority of those attacks were attributed to armed groups.
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