Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo has been killed in an assault within the east of the nation, its international ministry has mentioned.
Luca Attanasio, 43, died in hospital on Monday after the United Nations convoy he was travelling in got here underneath fireplace close to Goma, an announcement mentioned.
The convoy reportedly belonged to the UN’s World Meals Programme (WFP).
An Italian navy police officer travelling with the envoy and a Congolese driver have been additionally killed.
“It’s with deep unhappiness that the international ministry confirms the dying, right now in Goma, of the Italian ambassador,” the ministry’s assertion mentioned.
The 2 different fatalities have been 30-year-old navy police officer Vittorio Iacovacci, who had been serving on the embassy since final September, and their Congolese driver, whose title has not but been formally launched.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi issued an announcement providing his “deepest condolences”, whereas President Sergio Mattarella condemned the “cowardly assault”.
Overseas Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed his “nice shock and immense sorrow” on the “brutal” killings.
“At this time Italy mourns the lack of two of its sons and embraces their households,” he mentioned, including: “No effort might be spared to make clear what occurred.”
The assault is believed to have been an tried kidnapping, in keeping with officers on the close by Virunga Nationwide Park.
It occurred at round 10:15 native time (08:15 GMT) close to the city of Kanyamahoro, simply north of Goma, the officers informed Reuters information company.
It’s not clear who was behind the assault, however many armed teams are identified to function in and across the park.
Mr Attanasio was travelling from Goma to go to a “colleges programme” within the village of Rutshuru in jap DR Congo, the Rome-based WFP mentioned in an announcement.
“The assault… occurred on a street that had beforehand been cleared for journey with out safety escorts,” it added.
The DRC military has since deployed troops to assist search the realm.
Militias additionally conflict often within the east of the nation, the place a big UN power is struggling to maintain the peace.
Mr Attanasio had represented Italy within the DR Congo since 2017. He joined the diplomatic service in 2003 and hung out in Morocco and Nigeria.
DR Congo was for a few years on the centre of a brutal civil conflict that drew in a number of neighbouring nations.
The battle led to the lack of some 5 million lives between and 1994 and 2003, with some observers branding it Africa’s Nice Conflict.
However the finish of the battle didn’t mark an finish to the violence. Dozens of militias and insurgent teams proceed to function in jap areas.
The UN’s peacekeeping mission has been in DR Congo since 1999. It is without doubt one of the greatest peacekeeping operations on the planet, with greater than 17,000 personnel on the bottom.