Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Armed convoy attack: Italy’s ambassador in Congo killed


Status: 02/22/2021 2:19 p.m.

In the Congo, armed attackers ambushed a convoy and killed the Italian ambassador. A driver and the bodyguard are also said to have died. The exact circumstances of the act are still unclear.

Italy’s ambassador to the Congo was killed in an armed attack on a World Food Program convoy. Luca Attanasio died of his serious injuries shortly after the attack, said the governor responsible for the North Kivu region, Carly Nzanzu Kasivita.

According to a senior diplomat in Kinshasa, Attanasio was shot injured in the stomach. He was therefore taken to a hospital in Goma, where he died a little later.

According to an army spokesman, two other people were killed in the attack. It is said to be the driver and the ambassador’s bodyguard.

The killed Italian diplomat Luca Attanasio. He has been ambassador to the Congo since 2018.

Image: AFP

According to diplomatic circles in Kinshasa, the convoy had traveled north of the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province. The exact circumstances of the attack are still unclear. The Congolese police were surprised at the presence of the ambassador in the region and the fact that he was traveling without police protection.

Several militias are active in Eastern Congo

Attanasio wanted to travel to the famous Virunga National Park on the border with Uganda and Rwanda. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for endangered mountain gorillas that only live in these three countries. The rangers there are often threatened by militias and poachers, and the rare gorillas are killed again and again. It was only in January that six rangers were killed there and another was seriously injured. Back then, rebels were blamed for the attack.

Several militias are active in Eastern Congo, whose main aim is to control the valuable mineral resources. According to human rights activists, at least 170 people have been kidnapped near Virunga National Park in three years. The victims – many of them women – were beaten, tortured, raped and blackmailed into cash payments, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch reported last year. She blamed criminal gangs for this.

Attack on World Food Program convoy in Congo – Ambassador killed

Antje Diekhans, ARD Nairobi, February 22, 2021 2:28 p.m.



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