UN officials condemn attack in DR Congo which killed Italian envoy, FDLR denies involvement

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NEW YORK CITY, USA - SEPTEMBER 23, 2019: The UN logo on a door at the Headquarters of the United Nations ahead of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

Officials from the United Nations condemned an attack against a joint field mission of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Kibumba, near Goma, North Kivu.

Three people, including the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luca Attanasio, were killed in the incident.

An unspecified number of passengers who had traveled with the team were also injured.

The delegation was traveling from Goma to visit a WFP school feeding program in Rutshuru when the attack happened.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed to the Congolese government to promptly investigate the “heinous” attack even as he pledged the organization’s support to restore peace and stability in the restive eastern region.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley said the attack was a “reminder of the dangers that our humanitarian colleagues and our partners experience on a daily basis to help others in need.”

The Director-General of the UN migration agency (IOM) António Vitorino condemned the attack which left him “horrified”.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, echoed Guterres’ comments in calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Congolese authorities accused rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) movement as being responsible for the ambush.

However, the Hutu militia which is active close to the area where the attack happened denied any involvement in what it described as a “cowardly assassination”.

“The FDLR declare that they are in no way involved in the attack,” the group said in a statement.

 

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