Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo: Italian Ambassador killed in armed attack


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Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, was shot dead in the east of the country. A news confirmed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs this Monday.

The news was confirmed by Italy on Monday.

AFP (illustration)

The Italian Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed the death of its ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Luca Attanasio, who was traveling with a United Nations convoy in the east of the country.

“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.

Ambassador since October 2019

They were traveling by car “in a convoy of the Monusco,” the Blue Helmets mission that has been present in the DRC for twenty years, the ministry said in a statement. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who was in Brussels for a meeting with his European counterparts, announced his early return to Rome.

The Congolese interior ministry on Monday accused the Rwandan Hutu rebels of the FDLR of being behind the attack that claimed the lives of the Italian ambassador in Kinshasa and two other people in the east. of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“A convoy of the World Food Program (WFP) was the victim (Monday) of an armed attack by elements of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR)” in the province of North Kivu, the ministry wrote in a statement, adding that four people were kidnapped during this attack, one of whom has been found.

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.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Monday denounced the “cowardly attack” that claimed the life of his ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Luca Attanasio, an Italian soldier Vittorio Iacovacci and their driver.

“The Italian Republic is in mourning for these servants of the State who lost their lives in the exercise of their functions”, added Mr. Mattarella, deploring “the act of violence” perpetrated while they were moving in car in a convoy of MONUSCO, the mission of the peacekeepers in the DRC.

(AFP)





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