Speaking at a press conference in Brussels at the end of a face-to-face meeting of European Union heads of diplomacy – during which news of the attack came, Augusto Santos Silva said he deeply regretted “the death of the Italian ambassador and also the deaths of other people who were on the humanitarian train ”of the United Nations World Food Program.
“There is only one possible characterization of this attack: it is a cowardly attack. An attack on a United Nations convoy, an attack on a World Food Program convoy can only be qualified as what it is: a cowardly and unacceptable attack on its cowardice ”, accused Santos Silva.
Shortly before the words of the minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its official account on the social network Twitter, had already “vehemently” condemned the attack on the humanitarian convoy, which resulted in the death of the Italian ambassador, a military man and an official of the World Food Program, expressing its “solidarity with the victims’ families, the Italian authorities and the United Nations”.
Italian ambassador to Kinshasa, Luca Attanasio, was shot dead today in an armed attack on a World Food Program convoy during a visit near Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to diplomatic sources.
Luca Attanasio, who has served as ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo since early 2018, was “shot in the abdomen” and transported “in critical condition” to a hospital in Goma, a diplomatic source told AFP.
The Congolese army said, however, that “the Congolese Armed Forces are trying to find out who the aggressors are”.
The attack on the WFP convoy took place north of Goma, the capital of the province of North Kivu, which has been plagued by violence by armed groups for more than 25 years.
This region, which hosts the Virunga National Park, a natural, tourist and endangered gem, is also the scene of conflict in North Kivu, where dozens of armed groups are fighting for control of the soil and subsoil wealth.
Created in 1925, Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It extends over 7,769 km2, from Goma to the territory of Beni, between mountains and forests.
The park is guarded by 689 armed rangers, of which at least 200 were killed in the line of duty, according to park officials.
Guterres calls for immediate investigation into murder of Italian ambassador
UN Secretary-General António Guterres today condemned the attack on a World Food Program mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which resulted in the death of the Italian ambassador to the country, calling for an immediate investigation.
Through his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, Guterres expressed his condolences to the families of the dead and their countries, as well as to the World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations (UN) team in DR Congo.
“The Secretary-General calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to promptly investigate this heinous attack” and “bring those responsible to justice”, said the spokesman, quoted by the news agency Efe, during his daily press conference.
As of today, the DRC executive has already promised to do “everything possible to find out who is behind” the “vile murder” of Ambassador Luca Attanasio.
Italian ambassador to Kinshasa, Luca Attanasio, was shot dead in an armed attack on a WFP convoy during a visit near Goma, in eastern DRC, according to diplomatic sources.
Luca Attanasio, who served as ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo since early 2018, was “shot in the abdomen” and “rescued by guards from the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN)” in Virunga Park, according to Congolese authorities .
The attack also resulted in the deaths of two other people, including the driver of the vehicle in which they were traveling.
The Interior Ministry of the DRCongo accused Rwandan Hutu rebels of being behind the attack that today killed the ambassador.
The northeast of DRCongo has for years been plunged into conflict fueled by dozens of armed rebel groups, national and foreign, despite the presence of the Congolese Army and UN mission forces in the country, which has more than 15,000 operatives.
Portuguese ambassador to DRC regrets death of Italian counterpart in attack
The Portuguese ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, António Inocêncio Pereira, today lamented the death of the Italian counterpart, “a very close and friendly person”, during an attack in the province of Kivu-Norte.
“The diplomatic community in Kinshasa is absolutely devastated by this tragedy this morning,” wrote António Inocêncio Pereira on the social network Facebook, recalling the Italian ambassador, Luca Attanasio, 44, as “a very close and friendly person” and “friend of Portugal and the Portuguese ”.
The Portuguese diplomat stressed that DRCongo “needs more help and international commitment to solve the extremely complex security problem in the east, the confluence of many other situations that will have to be resolved and eradicated”.
“There are millions of people suffering from these three decades of instability, the commitment of the current Kinshasa authorities needs to be magnified through other lenses”, defended António Inocêncio Pereira, who told Lusa that “the fundamental issue is terrorism in the east ” from the country.
Italian ambassador to Kinshasa, Luca Attanasio, was shot dead today in an armed attack on a World Food Program (WFP) convoy during a visit near Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to diplomatic sources.
Luca Attanasio, who has served as ambassador to DRCongo since early 2018, was “shot in the abdomen” and “rescued by guards from the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN)” in Virunga Park, according to Congolese authorities.
The Interior Ministry of DRCongo accused Rwandan Hutu rebels of being behind the attack that killed the ambassador.
“The security services and the provincial authorities were unable to provide any special security measures to the caravan or help them due to the lack of information about their presence in this part of the country, which is considered unstable,” said the Ministry of Interior.
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