Congo, Italy dispatch investigators into ambassador’s demise

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — An Italian Carabinieri unit is predicted in Congo Tuesday to research the killings of the Italian ambassador to Congo, an Italian Carabinieri police officer and their driver within the nation’s east.

Congolese authorities and members of the United Nations Mission in Congo are additionally anticipated in Goma, in jap Congo to look into the killings.

Luca Attanasio, the ambassador to Congo since 2017, Carabinieri officer Vittorio Iacovacci and their driver Moustapha Milambo had been killed Monday in an ambush as their World Meals Program convoy was touring from Goma, Congo’s jap regional capital, to go to a WFP college venture in Rutshuru, the U.N. company stated.

Congo’s inside ministry stated 4 others within the convoy had been kidnapped, however one particular person has since been discovered by Congo’s military.

The physique of the ambassador and the officer shall be flown to Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, Monday after which to Rome, in response to native media reviews.

Congo’s authorities has blamed the killings on the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Rwandan Hutu insurgent group referred to as FDLR.

The insurgent group, nevertheless, on Tuesday, denied accountability for the assault.

“The FDLR declares that there’s nothing to implicate it within the assault that resulted within the demise of the Italian ambassador and asks that Congolese authorities and MONUSCO to do all they will to make clear these liable for this ignoble assassination,” insurgent spokesman Remedy Ngoma stated in a press release.

The insurgent group famous the assault passed off within the “three antennas” space close to Goma and the border of Rwanda and near Congolese and Rwandan navy positions. It blamed the killings on these forces.

Jap Congo is dwelling to myriad insurgent teams all vying for management of elements of the mineral-rich, loosely ruled Central African nation that’s the measurement of Western Europe.

Greater than 120 armed teams are energetic in jap Congo which has been insecure for greater than 25 years, in response to Kivu Safety Tracker, a joint venture between Human Rights Watch and the Congo Analysis Institute to watch armed violence in Jap Congo.

Within the particular space of the assault, a number of armed teams are energetic together with the FDLR, the Nyatura militia and remnants of the previous M23 rebels.


It’s uncommon for a prime diplomat to be focused in jap Congo, however assaults have been rising, Pierre Boisselet, coordinator of the Kivu Safety Tracker, stated.

“Assaults on humanitarians and kidnappings of humanitarian staff have been growing. Final yr we recorded 12 of these incidents in North and South Kivu, however just one led to a demise,” he stated.

“Normally violence by armed teams targets civilians,” or civilians are harm amid clashes between armed teams and the military.

The assault, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Goma, was proper subsequent to Virunga Nationwide Park.

The U.N. automobiles had been hijacked by the attackers and brought into the bush. The Congolese military and park guards for Virunga Nationwide Park responded to the assault and there was an trade of fireside, in response to North Kivu Gov. Carly Nzanzu Kasivita.

Attanasio was shot within the stomach, and was then transported to the U.N. Mission in Congo hospital the place he died from his wounds, in response to Congo’s inside ministry. The driving force and police officer died on the scene.

The WFP stated the assault occurred on a street that had been cleared beforehand for journey with out safety escorts, and it was searching for extra data from native officers on the assault.

Congo’s inside ministry stated the provincial authorities of North Kivu weren’t conscious of the presence of the Italian ambassador and subsequently didn’t present him with safety measures. U.N. peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix stated that the dedication of whether or not roads are protected is generally made by U.N. safety officers within the nation.

He stated he had no particulars on “the precise unfolding of the incident,” and that “The investigation will deliver, hopefully, readability to that.”

Italy’s Overseas Ministry stated Tuesday it’ll spare no effort to seek out out precisely what occurred within the tragic assault.

In Rome, Overseas Minister Luigi Di Maio stated he would quickly transient Parliament on the assault and cautioned in opposition to untimely reconstructions of what transpired. A second of silence was deliberate in Parliament on Tuesday. Rome prosecutors have opened an investigation, which is completed at any time when an Italian citizen is killed abroad.


Flags at Italian authorities buildings flew at half-staff as tributes poured in for the 2 males. In a front-page obituary in main Corriere della Sera, the international ministry secretary normal, Elisabetta Belloni, stated Attanasio firmly believed that via multilateral diplomacy, he may assist make the world a greater place.

The assault occurred in the identical space the place two Britons had been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in 2018, although they had been launched days later.

Jap Congo stays probably the most insecure elements of the expansive nation. Greater than 2,000 civilians had been killed final yr in jap Congo provinces by armed insurgent teams, in response to U.N. reviews final week.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission has been working towards decreasing its greater than 17,000-troop presence within the nation and handing over its safety work to Congolese authorities.


Petesch reported from Dakar, Senegal. Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed.


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