Tuesday 23 February 2021
The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luca Atanazio (43 years), one of the Italian military police assigned to guard him, named Vittorio Yakovaci (30 years), and the Congolese driver, Mustafa Milabo, who was leading the convoy that came under armed attack yesterday, were killed in an area near the city of Goma. In eastern Congolese.
The convoy that was attacked consisted of two vehicles belonging to the “World Food Program” operating in poor areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Al-Arabiya news channel indicated that the gunmen first targeted its driver, then tried to transport the others to a nearby forest, but Congolese forces arrived at the place and started exchanging fire with the attackers, which led to the killing of the ambassador, his Italian guard and his Congolese driver.
According to the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”, the Italian diplomat passed away, leaving 3 daughters and a Moroccan widow named Zakia Siddiqui.
The newspaper said that what happened was a “failed kidnapping attempt”, which Italian President Sergio Mattarella denounced as a cowardly act. He declared that Italy was mourning state employees who “lost their lives while carrying out their duties.”
According to Italian media reports, Luca began his career as a diplomat since 2017 at the Italian Foreign Ministry, and since 2019 as ambassador to the Congo.
As for his wife, Zakia Sidqi, with whom he married in 2015 while working in Morocco as a mission chief, two years later, she established a charity called “Mamasofia” to help women and children in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And the Italian government honored them for him last year.
According to the Italian diplomat’s widow Facebook account, Zakia previously worked at a hotel in Casablanca. She is fluent in Arabic, English, Italian and French.
Earlier, 11 people were killed in attacks launched by rebels on military sites in the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
An official toll revealed that 6 rebels were killed in two attacks by militants targeting two military sites in “Lubumbashi”, the second largest city in the Congo.
Lubumbashi, the capital of the mineral-rich Katanga region, frequently witnesses infiltrations by militants affiliated with separatist militias.
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