THE DEATH OF THE ITALIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE DRC: A CONTROVERSY

By Arnold Gakuba 

Italy mourns the death of its diplomat Ambassador Luca Attanasio who died in an attack by armed troops on February 22, 2021 in North-Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). So far, there are no reliable sources of the person responsible for this assassination which took place around 10:00am (08:00 GMT) near the town of Kanyamahoro, in north of Goma. 

Kinshasa accuses the FDLR of being behind the assassination of the ambassador of Italy in the DRC while the FDLR themselves deny this information in their press release on 22nd February 2021 and suggest that a careful investigation be carried out to establish the truth. The neighboring country, Rwanda, has so far remained silent on this despicable act which cost the life of the Italian Ambassador to DRC and his companions. We recall that since coming to power in 2019, Felix Tshisekedi, the President of DRC, has started good diplomatic relations with Kigali, from which relations were not diplomatically good. This once again gave the invader of the Great Lakes region, Paul Kagame and his troops to have a hold on Eastern DRC. It has always been said that the Rwandan Defense Force (RDF) has controlled Eastern region of DRC for years. Moreover, even the authorities in Kigali keep saying this under the pretext of prosecuting those who want to destabilize Rwanda in consideration of the DRC. 

New information arrived to “The Rwandan” says that the death of the Italian ambassador to the DRC was planned by the RDF in an operation called “MILAN”. This operation would have been concocted by Col Rusimbi Jean Claude Ex-CNDP of General Laurent Nkunda currently one of the senior officers of the FRADC of PAHO SOKOLA. This operation would have been prepared in BIGOGWE military camp. According to the same sources, the Italian ambassador to the DRC had an agenda to search for and locate the mass graves scattered throughout the province of North-Kivu in which the bodies of the victims of the massacres perpetrated by RCD Goma, CNDP and M23 are piled up. Aware of the agenda of the Italian ambassador in the DRC, and fearing the credibility of the information held by the latter about the horrible crimes and other atrocities committed by the RDF through the rebellions of its obedience: AFDL, RCD GOMA, CNDP, M23; the RDF, under the command of their leader Paul Kagame, resolved to liquidate the Italian ambassador on February 22, 2021. After that, the responsibility would have been awarded to the FDLR through Kinshasa. Moreover, infiltrations by unknown soldiers are currently being observed in Rugali (Gakomero), Rumangabo and Kanyamahura (North-Kivu). 

It should be noted that the authorities in Kigali and Kinshasa have intensified back-and-forth visits (Kigali-Kinshasa) in recent times when the international community is turning its eyes to Rwanda so that justice is rendered to political opponents including Paul Rusesabagina and Mrs Idamange Yvonne. The assassination of the Italian ambassador would have been a Kigali strategy to distract the international community especially European community, which is currently pressurizing the Government of Kigali to release illegally detained political opponents. Until now, the Italian Government reserves the right to pronounce itself on the death of its ambassador to the DRC. They prefer that an independent and immediate investigation is made to remove the controversy over the death of Luca Attanasio, Italian ambassador to the DRC.

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