March 2, 2021


Luca Attanasio, the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Italian Foreign Ministry announced his death following the attack.

Luca Attanasio died alongside an Italian soldier after their car was attacked in the eastern portion of the Congo. The group was traveling in a United Nations convoy, so Attanasio’s death has been shocking to Italian leadership.

Details of the Attack on the Italian Ambassador

Luca Attanasio died at the age of 43 after being attacked in the Congo. Two vehicles were traveling north of Goma when the attack occurred early on Monday morning. Attanasio died along with an Italian soldier and a Congolese driver.

Six attackers ambushed both vehicles. These people fired gunshots at the caravan before taking all the members into Virunga National Park. Virunga National Park rangers came to the convoy members’ aid and helped four escape the vicious killers.

The details of the attack in Virunga National Park were revealed by Carly Nzanzu, the governor of the North Kivu province.

As Attanasio and the Italian soldier were attempting to flee to safety, they were gunned down by the attackers. The Congolese driver was killed at the beginning of the attack. Attanasio was on his way to visit a school in the village of Rutshuru.

There were no security escorts on the road when the attack took place, which has angered Italian government members. Several other men were also injured in the attack, but there are only three casualties at this time.

The Aftermath

It’s still unclear who was behind the attack in the Congo. It’s believed that the convoy assault was an attempted kidnapping to claim a bounty. However, this has not been confirmed at this point in the investigation.

Many violent groups live around Virunga National Park. In the eastern part of the Congo where the ambassador was heading, armed militias have struggled to keep the peace with domestic terrorism groups on the rise.

The Congo army has sent troops to the area to search the park during the investigation. There has not been an international ambassador murdered in the Congo since 1997, when French official Philippe Bernard was shot in the Kinshasa riots.

It’s unclear why there was no security transporting Luca Attanasio’s convoy when the group was venturing into the country’s most dangerous area.

The Dangers of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was engaged in a Civil War that included multiple neighboring countries in the late nineties and early 2000s. Five million people died in Africa because of the war from 1994 to 2003.

The end of the war did not end the violence, especially in the eastern portion of the Congo. Countless rebel groups are terrorizing this portion of the country and killing harmless citizens frequently.

The United Nations has done their best to maintain peace in the Congo since 1999. There are currently 17,000 troops on the ground to help the Congo stay nonviolent, but there are still fatal events throughout the country.

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