Italy awaiting UN, WFP reports on killing of ambassador in DRC attack – Diplomat

Italy awaiting UN, WFP reports on killing of ambassador in DRC attack – Diplomat
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Italy has requested a detailed report from the United Nations (UN) and the World Food Programme (WFP) security protocols of a terrorist attack on its motorcade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Unidentified militants had on Monday attacked the motorcade and killed the Italian ambassador to the country, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in his address to the parliament on Wednesday.

The WFP motorcade was traveling in the DR Congo’s North Kivu province to visit a feeding program in a school in the town of Rutshuru, killing Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio, Italian policeman Vittorio Iacovacci and the WFP driver Mustafa Milambo.

“I asked the WFP in Rome and the United Nations, directly Secretary-General (Anotino) Guterres, to provide a detailed report on the attack on the World Food Programme,” Di Maio said.

The foreign minister added that he instructed Italian diplomats to follow through on information gathering.

He explained that the Italian embassy in the DR Congo is equipped with two armored cars with which the ambassador had traveled for missions around the country, always accompanied by at least one Italian security officer.

The location he was going to on Monday, however, was about 1,500 miles away, therefore the ambassador and the security officer relied on the protocol of the UN and first traveled on a plane belonging to the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo and then were accompanied by a WFP convoy.

Di Maio added that on the day of the tragedy, he had a phone conversation with the DR Congo foreign minister, who assured him of full cooperation with the Italian judiciary and an intention to quickly investigate and bring those responsible to justice.

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Investigations are also underway by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rome.

The bodies of the ambassador and the security officer have already been taken back to Rome where autopsies will be carried out on Wednesday.

Di Maio said a state funeral will be organised.

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