Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo: The ambush that claimed the life of the Italian ambassador was filmed


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The daily “La Repubblica” obtained images shot during the attack on a road which, from an anonymous UN source, was validated as not requiring a military escort.

“Here they are, here they are, it is them!” villagers shout, while gunshots are heard, according to a video obtained by “La Repubblica” and the translation made by the Italian newspaper. These images were shot during the ambush that claimed the life of Luca Attanasio, 43, Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Monday. The diplomat had taken place in a convoy of two vehicles of the World Food Program (WFP) which was en route between Goma and Kiwanja, in the province of North Kivu (East). He was accompanied by his bodyguard and agents from this humanitarian agency.

According to the Congolese presidency, six assailants forced the convoy to stop with warning shots, 3 km from its destination. One of the drivers was shot and the other travelers were taken hostage. But, chased by rangers and soldiers alerted to this attack, the kidnappers shot point blank at the Italian ambassador and his bodyguard.

“This road was validated without a military escort, but with the obligation of a convoy of at least two vehicles,” a UN humanitarian official in the country told AFP on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. .

Attack not claimed

Kinshasa accused the Rwandan Hutu rebels of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) of being the perpetrators of the attack. The latter, in a statement, rejected these allegations, pointing the finger at the Congolese and Rwandan armies. But the Congolese and Rwandan authorities systematically deny any presence of Rwandan troops on the territory of the DRC.

According to an expert from the Kivu Security Barometer (KST), “the FDLR are close to where the attack took place. It is possible that these Rwandan rebels are responsible for this attack, ”he told AFP.

(AFP / jfz)





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