The Italian ambassador to the Congo, Luca Atanasio, dies in an attack on a United Nations convoy


The Italian Foreign Ministry and the authorities of Virunga National Park said the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and two other people were killed Monday in an attack on a UN convoy in the east of the country.

The convoy was attacked at around 10:15 local time (0815 GMT) during a kidnapping attempt by the attackers near the city of Kanyamahoro, a few kilometers north of the provincial capital of Goma, Virunga National Park said. Reuters.

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The Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Italian ambassador, Luca Atanasio, and a military policeman traveling with him were killed.

Nyiragongo’s civil society head, Mambo Kawaya, said the driver of the car was also among the dead.

He added that the location of the event was the same as two British tourists were kidnapped in 2018.

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It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. No one immediately claimed responsibility.

Dozens of armed groups operate in and around Virunga, which borders the Congo with Rwanda and Uganda. Park rangers have come under frequent attacks, including six killed in an ambush last month.

Diplomats and politicians from Italy and other countries expressed their condolences and solidarity with the family of Luca Atanasio and the soldier who accompanied him.

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