An attack on a UN convoy in the Congo killed the Italian ambassador to that country and a security guard. A spokesman for Virunga National Park in eastern Congo said Ambassador Luca Atanasio was kidnapped and later found dead. Italian Foreign Ministry confirms the death of the diplomat.
The ambassador, along with an EU diplomat, among others, was traveling in a convoy of the United Nations peacekeeping mission Monusco, when it was attacked north of Goma. It was not known who the perpetrators were.
The Italian was injured and kidnapped in that attack. Then the Rangers from Virunga National Park began chasing the culprits and found Atanasio’s lifeless body which was taken to a hospital in Goma City. The killed guard was a police officer.
In a statement, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed condolences to the relatives of the murdered ambassador and police officer. He broke off a meeting with colleagues in Brussels on his way back to Rome.
The area where the attack took place borders Uganda and Rwanda and is one of the most volatile regions in Africa. Criminal gangs, rebel soldiers, ethnic militias and guerrilla groups have been active since 1998, often led by the regime in Rwanda. The battles include the many minerals of the region. For example, coltan ore, gold and diamond are mined.
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