The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said late Monday he is appalled by the assassination of Italy’s ambassador, Luca Attanasio, and two other people in an attack on a World Food Program (WFP) convoy in the country.
Felix Tshisekedi condemned the “heinous acts” perpetrated in Kibumba near Goma in North Kivu province and instructed the relevant services to shed light on the incident so the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice.
He offered his sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the president of the Republic of Italy and the WFP as well as to the entire accredited diplomatic corps in the Central African country.
The UN World Food Program expressed its “deepest sympathy and condolences” to the families, colleagues and friends of the three victims.
The organization said its delegation was on a field visit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, adding a number of other passengers were also injured in the attack.
The delegation had departed from Goma to visit a WFP school feeding program in Rutshuru when the incident took place, the WFP said.
Italy’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the killing of Attanasio and an Italian Carabinieri officer, Vittorio Iacovacci. Their Congolese WFP driver – whose name has not been released — was also killed in the ambush.
Several rebel groups in eastern DRC have been attacking, killing and kidnapping civilians in eastern DRC for several decades.
The illicit exploitation of natural resources continues to be a root cause and driver of conflict in the east of the country, according to the UN.
Most of the militia groups have set aside their political demands and are involved in mineral trafficking.