High level UN investigation into DRC ambush underway

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The specialist UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) is conducting a thorough investigation into the DR Congo (DRC) ambush that saw an ambassador and his security escort killed earlier this week.

Further information on the World Food Programme (WFP) convoy attack has been given to UNDSS by WFP.

According to a UN statement: “Italian ambassador to the DRC Luca Attanasio and his security escort, Vittorio Iacovacci, were among seven people travelling in two WFP vehicles from Goma to visit an agency school feeding programme in Rutshuru, approximately 40km away.

“The group left Goma at 9am, local time on Monday.  An armed group stopped the vehicles about an hour later, forcing all passengers to disembark.  One of the drivers, Mustapha Milambo, was killed at this time.

“The remaining six passengers were then forced into surrounding bush at gunpoint where there was an exchange of fire”, WFP said.

“During the exchange of fire, the Italian Ambassador and his security escort were mortally injured and subsequently died.”

The other passengers, all WFP staff, are safe and accounted for.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack and has called on the Congolese authorities to swiftly investigate the “heinous targeting” of a UN field mission.