The terrorists killed the Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio and Vittorio Iacovacci, a 30-year old carabiniere. Another victim is their driver, Mustapha Milambo.
Attack in Congo, the facts
It’s February 22nd in the Congo Republic Democracy. It was a diplomatic convoy, which carried the Italian ambassador, one carabiniere as the escort, and the driver.
The route was Goma-Bukavu and rangers from the Virunga National Park have revealed that this was a kidnapping attempt. In fact, the six attackers brought the three victims to the forest. First, they killed the driver. When the terrorists heard the first responders, they murdered the two Italians -perhaps panicking. The ambassador made it to the hospital alive, but in critical conditions. He died soon after.
A fourth person part of the diplomatic convoy has been found, although we don’t know any details.
So far, no one is 100% sure of whose behind the attack. Witnesses have said that the six terrorists carried light-weight weapons.
Local sources in Congo speculate on who’s responsible. According to some, the Democratic Forces for the liberation of Ruanda are behind the attack. Also known as Fdlr-Foca, this group is made of the Hutu ethnicity and it’s responsible for the Ruanda genocide.
Still, Congo’s Kivu region is home to many armed groups and militias, often fighting for control over natural resources. Hence, the attackers are unknown.
Marie Tumba Nzeza is Congo’s International Affairs Minister. After the attack, she talked to the media and the site actualite.cd reported her words.
“I swear to the Italian government that the Congolese executive will do anything necessary to find out the origins of this act,” Nzeza said.
Italy hasn’t been standing still. On February 23rd, a team of investigators will reach Kinshasa, Congo’s capital. There, they will assist local authorities. The disputed crime is kidnapping with terrorism motive.
The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, sent his message worldwide.
“The news of the attack shocked me. The Italian Republic mourns for this servants of the State who lost their lives while doing their job in the Congo.”
As we wait for information, we all mourn.
Update, March 5th 2021
After the funerals of both victims, more sad news out of Congo. In fact, on March 5th, the media announced another death. The military magistrate who was investigating on the attacks was murdered.
His name was William Assani. The attack happened on the same route as Attanasio’s, the Rutshuru-Goma. Assani was on his way back to a meeting concerning the area’s security and the previous attack.
One of the attackers died in this latest attack too. And sources say that his body and items can give an idea on the group responsible for both attacks.