Hutu rebels accuse DRC, Rwanda after Italian ambassador killed

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Luca Attanasio died of his wounds after a World Food Programme convoy got here beneath fireplace near the jap metropolis of Goma.

Rwandan Hutu rebels denied allegations they had been behind the killing of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and as a substitute accused the armies of the DRC and Rwanda of duty.

Luca Attanasio died of his wounds on Monday after a World Food Programme convoy got here beneath fireplace near the jap metropolis of Goma whereas he was on a area journey. The Italian authorities stated an Italian policeman, Vittorio Iacovacci, and a driver it didn’t establish additionally died.

The DRC’s inside ministry blamed the killings on “members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda [FDLR]”, a Rwandan Hutu insurgent group that has plagued the area for greater than 1 / 4 of a century.

But the FDLR rejected the allegation in a press release acquired by AFP information company on Tuesday.

It stated the ambassador’s convoy was attacked near the Rwandan border, “not far from a position of the FARDC [DRC’s armed forces] and Rwandan soldiers”.

“The responsibility for this despicable killing is to be found in the ranks of these two armies and their sponsors who have forged an unnatural alliance to perpetuate the pillaging of eastern DRC,” it stated.

The FDLR denied “being involved in the attack” and referred to as on Kinshasa and UN peacekeeping drive MONUSCO to “shed light” on the killings “instead of resorting to hasty accusations”.

DRC and Rwanda authorities haven’t reported the presence of any common Rwandan troops within the DRC.

But an analyst on the Kivu Security Tracker, a US monitor, stated: “The FDLR are near the place where the attack took place. It’s in the realm of possibility that the Rwandan rebels are responsible for this attack.”

‘Cowardly attack’

Attanasio, 43, represented Italy in Kinshasa since 2017, first as head of mission after which as ambassador from October 2019.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella described the ambush as a “cowardly attack.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a press release urging the DRC to swiftly examine a “heinous targeting” of a UN mission.

Scores of militias roam the DRC’s 4 jap provinces, many a legacy of wars within the 1990s that pulled in its regional neighbours and killed tens of millions.

Monday’s assault occurred within the thickly forested, mountainous terrain of the Nyiaragongo Territory – north of the North Kivu capital of Goma – one of the crucial harmful elements of the nation.

The FDLR is certainly one of various armed teams working there.

Attanasio is the second European ambassador to have been killed whereas serving within the DRC.

In January 1993, French Ambassador Philippe Bernard was killed throughout riots in Kinshasa sparked by troops opposing former President Mobutu Sese Seke.