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00 in Rome. Autopsies tomorrow

The military plane carrying the bodies took off of Luca Attanasio and of Vittorio Iacovacci, the Italian ambassador and carabiniere who died during the attack on a UN convoy of the World Food program (Wfp), in the Democratic Republic of Congo: he will land at 11.00 pm at Ciampino airport (Rome). Antonio Romeo, mayor of Limbiate, the town in the province of Monza and Brianza where the ambassador Attanasio grew up, said so. «They left at 3 pm and will arrive in Rome at 11 pm», so Romeo; Attanasio’s parents also left for Rome.

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In the meantime, the investigation is awaited. in particular, the Rome prosecutors Sergio Colaiocco and Alberto Pioletti will investigate the death of the two officials. Who at the moment hypothesize a kidnapping for the purpose of terrorism and have ordered the autopsy of the two bodies, which will be carried out tomorrow at the forensic medicine institute of the Policlinico Gemelli in Rome.

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Congo, Luca Attanasio dies. The unescorted ambassador: “He was killed by friendly fire”

Gun investigations

The carabinieri of the Ros will carry out in Congo, on delegation of the Public Prosecutor of Rome, an accurate reconnaissance of the weapons used by the rangers who intervened in the place of the ambush. The Ros will acquire information on the weapons supplied to the body that takes care of the Virunga Park. According to a reconstruction, there was a fire fight between the rangers and the kidnappers and it is at this stage that the two Italians would have lost their lives. Today the Congolese presidency stressed that it was the attackers who shot both of them point-blank. In the meantime, the Foreign Ministry, reads a note from the Farnesina, has announced that it will try every way to reconstruct the entire affair in which Attanasio and Iacovacci lost their lives. An information from the Foreign Minister is also expected in the next few hours: «The Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio will speak in the next few hours or tomorrow », Federico D’Incà, the Minister for Relations with Parliament, said in the House, responding to a new request from the FDI group that urged the minister to rebuild the attack.

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The yellow

The attackers were armed with machetes and five Kalashnikov model automatic rifles. The agony of the Italian ambassador, shot in the abdomen, lasted an hour, the statement reads. At present, however, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (Fdlr) have denied any involvement in the attack. In fact, yesterday doubts immediately emerged about the escort: in particular, the Congo authorities had declared that they were not aware of the presence of the Italian ambassador in the convoy. This is why an adequate supply would not have been provided. Furthermore, the trail had already been patrolled and was considered safe until then.

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The intelligence report

The first intelligence report reports that yesterday morning, in the vicinity of Kibumba (the north of Goma, in the province of North Kivu), Attanasio and Iacovacci were killed together with their driver while, “aboard a vehicle that was driving part of a convoy of two non-armored vehicles of the UN WFP, they were traveling along the stretch of road that connects Goma to Rutshuru (where a visit to a WFP school feeding program was scheduled) », it says. According to the secret services, Rocco Leone, deputy head of the World Food Program in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was also present, who was unharmed.


According to the reconstruction of the 007 “about 25 kilometers from the city of Goma, the first car, in which the victims were traveling, was subjected to gunshots exploded by an armed group that allegedly acted to rob the convoy and / or kidnap UN staff ». After killing the driver, the assailants “opened fire on the other occupants of the vehicle; immediately afterwards they took from the vehicle the ambassador Attanasio and the carabiniere Iacovacci (probably already wounded), presumably in order to kidnap them and then ask for a ransom in money ».

The reconstruction

At that point, a UN security officer traveling in the second car – which was not involved in the collision – allegedly entered into “a negotiation with the attackers, clarifying the status of the compatriots”. However, there would have been a fire fight between the attackers and elements belonging to the Rangers forces and the Congolese Army. “Following the shooting, a security officer from Virunga Park, escorting the convoy, was also injured», Underlines a first reconstruction.

Vittorio Iacovacci, the carabiniere who died in the attack in Congo

Attanasio and Iacovacci were later abandoned, although it is not clear if by then the ambassador and the carabiniere were already dead. This reconstruction is confirmed by what was stated immediately after the incident by the governor of the North Kivu Region, Carly Nzanzu Kasivita, according to which the ambassador and the soldier were killed, following their removal from the car, after the commando armed had been hired by a Rangers patrol of the Virunga National Park. The place of the ambush is included in an area, called “Zona delle tre antennas”.

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This is a high-risk area for security: two British citizens were kidnapped in May 2018 and released. The territory is contiguous to the Virunga Park within which several armed militias operate that were formed following civil wars officially ended in 2003. One of the most dangerous and most active groups in the area is that of the Allied Democratic Forces (Allied Democratic Forces – Adf) who killed 6 rangers in the same park on 10 January. The attack, according to the assessments of our intelligence, is part of an extremely fragile security context, which has characterized the North Kivu area in the last 20 years.

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Possible attackers

One of the main causes of instability lies in the arrival of Rwandan Hutu militias in Congolese territory (1994) and in the economic interests deriving from the exploitation of the enormous mineral resources of the area, which have hindered the disarmament of these militias. Around 100 armed militias are active in the area which, operating on an ethnic basis, often act in cooperation with each other, for self-financing purposes. The area north of Goma (the capital of North Kivu) is mainly occupied by a vast forest area (Virunga National Park) which offers protection to the activities of the various militias (illicit trafficking of raw materials, smuggling, racketing).

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In the area adjacent to the site of the attack, various armed groups historically operate, among which the main ones are: Fdlr-Foca (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, political arm of the Abacunguzi fighting forces), Nyatura Cmc (Collectif des Mouvements pour le Changement ) Mai Mai, Charles alias Afrc alias Afarpm (Alliance des Forces Armees de Resistants Patriotes Mai Mai). The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group, of Ugandan origin, recently suspected of joining jihadism, usually operates in an area much north of Rutshuru (Beni), in the Virunga park.

The dynamics of the event seem to show that the attackers were aware of the passage of the convoy along the RN2 road. It seems likely that the event is due to one of the three aforementioned militias and / or similar forces (Rwandan Hutus), which may have carried out the action for the purpose of robbery. The personnel and means of the Monusco mission are generally a paying target. At present, however, it cannot be ruled out that the action is attributable to ADF elements, also in relation to the presence of a logistic cell of the group in Goma. Since 2017, about 1300 security incidents with victims, over 1,280 clashes and almost 1,000 cases of kidnapping and kidnapping for ransom have been recorded in the southern part of Virunga Park (North Kivu Province).

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The instability

Furthermore, a growing terrorist dynamism of the Islamic State Central Africa Province (Iscap), the local affiliation of Daesh, has recently emerged in the country. The group would have gained control of some areas, establishing operational bases in the areas of Rwenzori and Irumu from which to launch terrorist operations carried out, both through the use of weapons and ammunition seized by militants following attacks made against military and military forces. Congolese security, both through IEDs and grenades. A team from the presidency of the Democratic Republic of Congo will leave today for Goma to follow the investigation into the ambush that cost the life of the Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio yesterday, the carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci and the driver driving their vehicle. This was announced by the Cas-Info site.

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The competent services, it says, have been instructed to ensure “that light is shed on this hateful crime in the best possible time” and those responsible are “identified and brought to justice”. A crisis committee met yesterday and reviewed the report by North Kivu Governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita. Two important decisions were taken, in addition to the departure of an envoy of the presidency for Rome, with a letter to the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, “the sending of a presidency team to Goma, today, to follow the investigation and report regularly to the head of state “

Last updated: 16:20



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