Italy returns ambassador and bodyguard murdered in Congo-SABC News

The bodies of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and his bodyguards returned to Rome on a military plane on Tuesday, the day after they were shot dead following an ambush in eastern Congo.

Ambassador Luca Atanasio, 43, and his bodyguard, Vittorio Iakovatch, 30, were killed when traveling to a school lunch project on a convoy of the United Nations World Food Program. WFP driver Musta Fami Lambo was also killed.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi joined the bereaved family when a coffin-carrying plane landed at Rome’s Ciampino Airport following a flight from the Congolese city of Goma near the Rwandan border.

According to the Congolese president, a convoy of two cars was stopped by six armed men on the road north of Goma, killing driver Mirambo and taking away six other passengers. Army and park rangers chased the group, followed by a shootout in which the kidnappers shot two Italians.

The Congolese Ministry of Interior has blamed the attack on the Rwandan Democratic Forces for the Liberation (FDLR), a Rwandan Hutu rebel. The FDLR, one of about 120 armed groups operating in eastern Congo, has denied responsibility for what is called a “cowardly assassination.”

“The FDLR has declared that they are not involved in the attack,” the group said in a statement.

The local governor said the perpetrator spoke Rwandan, Kinyarwanda.

Founded by former Rwandan officers and militias who have accused the United Nations and others of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the FDLR was held in May 2018 for several days before the abduction, including two British tourists. Is blamed.

President Felix Tshisekedi has sent his chief diplomatic adviser to Goma to support investigations by local authorities, and Roman Congolese envoy will submit a letter from Tshisekedi to Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Congo said. It was.

Italian sources told Reuters that an Italian Carabinieri police investigator had performed a short task of diving into Congo and contacting police there. When they return, Italian prosecutors will begin a full investigation, sources said.

Attanasio was the first Italian ambassador to be killed on duty. Dario Tedesco, a sesame-based Italian volcanologist, paid tribute to his murdered friend.

“He was able to talk to all of us, but it was totally different, because he was acclimatized to each of us and made us feel important,” Tedesco said. I did. “This shouldn’t have been his last trip because he believed in what he was doing.”

Italy returns ambassador and bodyguard murdered in Congo-SABC News

Source link Italy returns ambassador and bodyguard murdered in Congo-SABC News

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