The European Union’s foreign ministers have discussed the reports on the deaths of Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Luca Attanasio, policeman Vittorio Iacovacci and their driver that resulted from a militant attack on a UN convoy in the DRC, foreign policy spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the Italian Foreign Ministry said that Attanasio died after the attack that took place in the eastern DRC city of Goma in the North Kivu Province, located next to the border with Rwanda and Uganda.
“We have seen the reports on the attack on the UN convoy, including … reports on the death of the ambassador of Italy. The news is extremely worrying and we are following the situation closely,” Massrali said at a press conference.
The spokeswoman added that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced the news on the incident at the EU Foreign Affairs Council, held in Brussels, and conveyed his condolences to Italy.
Chief spokesman of the European Commission Eric Mamer noted that the commission would closely follow the information regarding the incident.
“Of course, this is terrible news. Indeed, I understand it is now being discussed in the Foreign Affairs Council. And the Italian Foreign Minister is also showing the information that he has. And we will continue to follow these dramatic developments very very closely,” Mamer said at a press conference.
North Kivu, located next to the border with Rwanda and Uganda, is a home province of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group that brings together Islamists and forces opposed to longtime Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The ADF has operated in the province since the late 1990s. In 2017, the group swore allegiance to the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia). The United Nations holds the group responsible for killing hundreds of civilians.