Who is responsible of the death of Luca Attanasio in DRC?

By Arnold Gakuba


Since Monday, February 20, 2021, an unforgettable day in the history of the world, of Italy and of the DRC, speculations on the assassination of Mr. Luca Attanasio, Ambassador of Italy in the DRC, have been numerous. This article brings together various sources of information that converge towards the truth about the death of this high personality. Could the responsibility fall to DRC, the Italian government, the WFP, the rebels camped in Eastern DRC, or others?


The Government of Kinshasa, in its press release dated February 22, 2021 signed by Mr. Aristide Bulakali Mululungaya, immediately accused the FDRL, within a period not exceeding three hours after the assassination of the Italian ambassador to the DRC Mr. Luca Attanasio, to be the author of this despicable act while according to the expert of the Kivu Security Barometer (KST), the region is home to several rebellions including the FDRL, Hutu Congolese militias Nyatura, Congolese rebels from M -23 to name just a few. This accusation was immediately refuted by the FDRL in their statement sent to the international community. We recall that the Kibumba region, in which the assassination of the Ambassador took place, is an intensively controlled corner of the FRDC with multiple road brocks. We would therefore wonder how the ambassador circulated in the region without the knowledge of the Congolese security, which should ensure his safety.

The DRC government has not been serious about the matter. Kinshasa accused the ambassador of visiting the region without government permission. In his press release of February 27, 2021, Banza Ngoy Katimwe shows that the Italian embassy in Kinshasa had sent a verbal note requesting access to the diplomatic lounge on Monday, February 15, 2021. This shows that the Government of Kinshasa was aware of the Luca Attanasio’s trip to Eastern DRC. Moreover, the official letters of the Government of Kinshasa confuse the public and put them it under suspicion.

WFP or Italian Government?

Upon his arrival in the DRC in 2017, Mr. Luca Attanasio, asked the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to bring two to four riflemen of his close security but this was refused. This explains why the ambassador carried out his duties in the DRC without a sufficient security entourage.

Information from Rocco Leone, Deputy Director of WFP in DRC as of February 26, 2021, shows that this person holds the truth of what happened on the death of Luca Attanasio and his companions. Rocco Leone says there are speculations about the murder but the four persons who survived the death are ready to unravel the truth.

In her interview of February 26, 2021 with the daily II Messaggero, Madam Zakia Seddiki, the widow of the Italian ambassador in the DRC, affirms that her husband was betrayed by someone who is close to them but that she did not want to mention. Is this individual who remains incognito a staff of WFP or an Italian diplomat or another? In the meantime, the Court of Rome has opened a lawsuit on this infraction.

Other possible alternatives?

In conclusion, some sources suggest that Rwanda, a close country and current friend of President Felix Tshisekedi, cannot be involved in the assassination of the Italian ambassador to the DRC. The weekly News Paper The Post questioned on the responsibility of Kigali Government in this affair. And the News Paper says that there is the presence of the Rwandan army in this area which controls the place in collusion with the FRDC. 

According to TV5Monde, of February 28, 2021, Italy requests the opening of an in-depth investigation by the United Nations as the widow evokes a betrayal of a collaborator which would have involved in the death of her husband. Three investigations are underway, but WFP does not trust the Congolese and Italian governments. United Nations intervention is called for. WFP also wants to question other independent investigators. Right off the bat, the truth is not far from being known.