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ITALY – Italian Ambassador killed in armed attack

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The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Luca Attanasio, lost his life on Monday, February 22, 2021, during the attack on their convoy during a visit near Goma. Two other people, an Italian soldier, Vittorio Lacovacci, and their driver, were killed by the assailants whose identity is not yet known.

Luca Attanasio, 43, Italian ambassador since 2018, was seriously wounded in the abdomen during an armed attack. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Goma where he was evacuated. “It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms the death today (Monday) in Goma of the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luca Attanasio, and a military man.” The Italian ambassador was in Rutshuru on Monday to observe the activities of the World Food Programme (WFP).

Italian President Sergio Mattarella called the attack “cowardly”. “The Italian Republic is in mourning for its servants of the State who lost their lives in the performance of their duties,” he said, deploring the “act of violence” perpetrated while travelling by car in a Monusco convoy. the Peacekeepers’ Mission in the DRC. For its part, the Congolese army said it was sweeping wide to find out the identity of the assailants.

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The attack on this WFP convoy took place north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, which has been plagued by violence from armed groups for more than 25 years.This region is home to the Virunga National Park, a natural and touristic jewel but threatened. It is also the scene of conflicts in this region of North Kivu, where dozens of armed groups are fighting for control of the soil and subsoil.

Created in 1925, the Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This reserve covers 7,769 km², from Goma to the territory of Beni, between mountains and forests.

       

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