Congo, the investigation into the ambush: an emissary of President Tshisekedi today in Rome
The death of Ambassador Luca Attanasio, political reactions.
Pain in his hometown
Death Attanasio, Zoro: "I met him, he was prepared and aware"
Congo, the ambassador and the carabiniere "taken to the forest and killed"
Congo, Fico remembers Attanasio and Iacovacci: "Cowardly ferocity".
A minute of silence in the Chamber
Congo: the plane with the bodies of Attanasio and Iacovacci is traveling, arrival expected in the late evening
Congo, the ambassador Attanasio and the escort carabiniere Iacovacci taken to the forest and killed
Flags at half mast for Ambassador Attanasio and Carabiniere Iacovacci killed in Congo
The powder magazine of the Virunga park where the Italian ambassador was killed
February 23, 2021 Wrapped in a green, white and red flag, the remains of the young ambassador Luca Attanasio and the even younger carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci were welcomed in Ciampino, when the Italian Air Force got off the plane, by the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, the foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio and the defense minister, Lorenzo Guerini, as well as the general commander of the Carabinieri and the commanders of the other armed forces.
The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, was absent, forced to cancel his presence due to a labyrinthitis.
The ambassador's wife and three daughters also traveled on the plane, who lived with him in Kinshasa, and some of the carabiniere's relatives who had left specifically from Sonnino (Latina) to carry out this painful task.
The two coffins were welcomed on the track by an inter-force military picket, also made up of carabinieri of the 13th Friuli Venezia Giulia regiment, which is part of the second Mobile Brigade of the Arma, of which Iacovacci was a member.
An autopsy will be carried out on the bodies of the two victims on Wednesday.
The Farnesina requested and obtained that the autopsy examination ordered by the Rome prosecutor's office be carried out in Italy, which investigates the death of the ambassador and the carabiniere killed during an attempted kidnapping.
The autopsies will be carried out at the Forensic Medicine Institute of the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic, while the Carabinieri del Ros have been sent to Goma for investigations.
They have the task of acquiring the minutes of the testimonies collected by the Congolese law enforcement agencies and verifying which weapons were used by the rangers who intervened to stop the kidnappers: in fact, it is not yet excluded that to injure the two Italians may have been 'friendly fire'.
The prosecutors Sergio Colaiocco and Alberto Pioletti coordinate the investigations.
Tomorrow, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio will report to Parliament on what has happened and the Farnesina assures that "no effort will be spared, in coordination with all the competent State apparatuses, to arrive at a correct reconstruction of the tragic attack".
Thursday Attanasio's funeral in Rome
The funeral of Luca Attanasio will be celebrated on Thursday morning at 9.45 in Rome, in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri.
This was announced by the mayor of Limbiate, Antonio Domenico Romeo, who will travel to Rome, representing the Municipality together with the town's parish priest.
Pope Francis prays for the victims of the attack in Congo
Pope Francis "is informed of what happened in Congo and the death of the Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio, of the escort carabiniere" Vittorio Iacovacci "and of the driver" Mustapha Milambo, and "prays also for them during these days of spiritual exercises ".
The Pope, in a telegram to the Head of State Mattarella, raises "prayers of suffrage for the eternal rest of these noble sons of the Italian nation", exhorting to "trust in the providence of God, in whose hands nothing of the good accomplished is lost, especially when it is confirmed with suffering and sacrifice ".
"To you, Mr. President - writes the Pope - to the relatives and colleagues of the victims and I urge everyone to trust in the providence of God in whose hands nothing of the good accomplished is lost, especially when it is confirmed with suffering and sacrifice".
WFP: "UN will conduct thorough fact check"
"United Nations security department will conduct thorough fact check".
This is what we read in a statement from the Wordl Food Program regarding the attack on one of its delegations yesterday in the Democratic Republic of Congo in which Ambassador Luca Attanasio, Carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci and driver Mustapha Milambo were killed.
The UN agency in Rome confirms that the other members of the group "all WFP staff are safe".
In addition to Rocco Leone, deputy director of WFP in Congo, there was the assistant to the school feeding program of the WFP Fidele Zabandora, the WFP security officer Mansour Rwagaza and the driver Claude Mukata.
President of Congo in Mattarella: "Attanasio was a friend of our country"
"Ambassador Luca Attanasio was a great friend of the Democratic Republic of Congo".
This is what President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo wrote in a condolence message sent to the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and to the families of the victims of yesterday's attack.
In the message, reported in a press release from the presidency released by the Kinshasa embassy in Rome, the president stresses that the "constant commitment" of the Italian diplomat "to strengthen bilateral relations between our country and Italy will always be remembered" and "for the humanitarian causes for which he worked at the time of his death".
President Tshisekedi Tshilombo then reiterates his "firm condemnation of this terrorist attack" and the order given to "all competent services to shed light on this heinous crime" to ensure that "those responsible are identified and brought to justice" .
Still shadows on the story
In the dynamics that yesterday led to the death of the Italian ambassador in Kinshasa, Luca Attanasio, of the carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci, and of their Congolese driver Mustapha Milambo, there are some established facts and several doubts that the investigators will try to dissolve.
The ambassador had already arrived in Goma last Friday, reports a statement from the Congolese presidency.
"The ambassador arrived in Goma on Friday 19 February 2021 at 10:30 am aboard the Monusco jet registered 5Y / Sim. At 09:27 on Monday 22 February", it is added, "a convoy of two vehicles from the World Food Program 'Pam' left Goma for the municipality of Kiwanja, in the territory of Rutshuru ".
According to the testimonies collected by local sources,
the UN convoy in which they were traveling was made up of two cars
of the World Food Program (WFP) and seven people, four Congolese and three Italians.
In addition to Attanasio and Iacovacci,
the third Italian involved in the ambush - Rocco Leone, deputy director of WFP in Kinshasa - is unharmed
The other three who are missing are Congolese citizens who have been kidnapped by the commando.
"The members of the convoy,
including Athanasius, were first blocked and taken into the bush by attackers who spoke in Kinyarwanda, before being killed by the attackers themselves, during a firefight between the latter and a group of patrolling forest guards. in the area, with the support of soldiers from the Congolese armed forces ".
This reconstruction provided to InfoAfrica by a local source corresponds in part to that released in a statement by the Congolese Ministry of the Interior.
But the picture is far from clear and the exchanges of accusations between the parties involved confirm the complexity and instability of the scenario.
The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Antoine
Tshisekedi Tshilombo, has decided to send his representative to Rome today to
deliver a personal letter to Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
And sent a team to Goma to support the field investigation.
The exchange of accusations
Yesterday afternoon the Congolese government accused "elements" of the FDLR of the ambush.
The rebel group established bases in North Kivu after the 1994 Rwandan genocide and remains an opposition force against both the Kinshasa and Kigali executives, installed after the massacres 27 years ago mostly with support of Tutsi fighters.
the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (Fdlr) denied their involvement in a statement
, pointing the finger at elements of the Congolese and Rwandan armies.
In the area of the Virunga mountains, between Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, many rebel groups operate which often target the rangers of the park, famous for its mountain gorillas.
According to the
reconstruction made by the Congolese authorities
, reported by the cas-info site, "the attackers, six of them, were armed with 5 AK47 type machine guns and a machete. They fired warning shots before forcing the occupants of the vehicles to get out. and follow them to the end of the park, after having shot one of the drivers to create panic ".
With the arrival of the park guards and the soldiers present in the surrounding area, a shooting was triggered.
The armed commando would have shot point blank at the carabiniere, who died on the spot, and at the ambassador wounding him in the abdomen.
The latter died an hour later at the Monusco mission hospital in Goma.
Meanwhile, according to
the Italian intelligence report
, "the Ministry of the Interior of the Democratic Republic of Congo immediately withdrew, after its publication, a tweet in which it was claimed that the criminal action was specifically directed against the Italian Ambassador" .
Against the background of the rebound of accusations between Kinshasa and Hutu rebels, the 007 do not exclude the
involvement of the militias of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)
, "of Ugandan origin", recently suspected of joining jihadism, and it is not even excluded that the attack - initially looked like an attempted kidnapping - it may have been for robbery purposes.
"The event", reads the intelligence report, "is part of an extremely fragile security context, which has characterized the North Kivu area in the last 20 years".
The dynamics of the ambush and the obscure points
If the dynamics of the ambush, according to the various reconstructions, seem ascertained even if important elements on the responsibilities are missing, there remains
another obscure point relating to the absence of an armed guard in the convoy
, apart from the presence of the carabiniere.
The fact that the local police officer said he was not aware of the ambassador's move to the area, "in such a dangerous area, has raised surprise and many questions", the local source said.
Consequently, what would be the reasons that prompted the ambassador's convoy to enter an area - along the road from Goma to Rutshuru - potentially dangerous without an escort?
Certainly, Ambassador Attanasio was not new to these areas and knew the pitfalls.
He had already been to Kivu, and in recent days he had stayed in Bukavu, before returning by boat to Goma.
Among other things,
in recent days, a delegation of the UN Security Council had gone to that area
meeting the various realities present in the area, as part of the Monusco mission (the United Nations mission for stabilization in the Democratic Republic of Congo).
Sources Farnesina: news on armored cars inaccurate
"Some press are unfortunately making an instrumental use of the notice published on the website of the Italian Embassy in Kinshasa of the procedure for purchasing a new armored car. A simple phone call would have been enough to ascertain that it was a replacement of one of the armored cars already supplied to the headquarters. It is therefore once again the obligation to appeal to the sense of responsibility of all the press so that in such a tragic moment they do not contribute to spreading inaccurate information if not even misleading ".
Sources from the Farnesina report this.
Flags at half mast as a sign of mourning
The Presidency of the Council of Ministers has arranged, for yesterday and today, to display the Italian flag and the European flag at half mast on the public buildings of the Constitutional Bodies and Ministries , as a sign of mourning for the tragic death of the Ambassador of Italy to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, and of the carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci, following the cowardly attack that took place today in Goma.
The flags of the European Union and Italy at the European Parliament headquarters were also lowered to half mast today.
The EU Parliament itself reports.
I Ros in Kinshasa for investigations
A team of investigators from the Ros, delegated by the Public Prosecutor of Rome, is in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to support local investigators in investigations relating to the death of the Italian ambassador, Luca Attanasio, and of the carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci.
The public pros of piazzale Clodio will therefore wait for a first report on what has happened.
The Carabinieri del Ros will have to acquire the reports of the testimonies yesterday and check which weapons were used by the rangers who intervened during the kidnapping attempt.
Among the texts heard yesterday there is the Italian official of the World Food Program, Rocco Leone, two Congolese bodyguards and the second driver, who was unharmed
The Rome Public Prosecutor's Office opens an investigation
The Rome Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation file in relation to the death of the Italian ambassador to Congo, Luca Attanasio, and of the carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci.
The proceeding, coordinated by the chief prosecutor Michele Prestipino, involves kidnapping for the purpose of terrorism.
The Capitoline magistrates, who are competent for crimes committed abroad and which have Italian citizens as victims, have delegated the investigations to the carabinieri of the Ros.