Italian Ambassador to Congo Is Killed in Ambush


ROME — The Italian ambassador to Congo and a Carabinieri officer were killed on Monday while traveling in a United Nations convoy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.

In a brief statement, the ministry said that the ambassador, Luca Attanasio, and the officer had been killed in Goma, the capital of the eastern region of North Kivu.

The statement did not provide any additional details.

In January 2019, Congo experienced its first peaceful democratic transfer of power since independence in 1960, with Felix Tshisekedi elected as president.

He succeeded the strongman Joseph Kabila in a disputed election marked by allegations of large-scale fraud and suspicions of a back-room deal by Mr. Kabila to install Mr. Tshisekedi over Martin Fayulu, an opposition candidate who, according to leaked electoral data, was the real winner.

Credit…Italian Foreign Ministry, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Congo, a resource-rich nation that is about the size of Western Europe, suffered through a brutal colonial regime before enduring decades of corrupt dictatorship.

Back-to-back civil wars later drew in a number of neighboring countries, and many rebel groups have come and gone during the years of the United Nations mission.

The peacekeeping mission, known by its acronym MONUSCO, has been working to draw down its 15,000-troop presence and transfer its security work to the Congolese authorities.


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