UN Secretary-General António Guterres and his Deputy Special Representative in the DRC, David McLachlan-Karr, have strongly condemned the attack on WFP convoy that killed Italy Ambassador to Kinshasa, his bodyguard and a driver.
In a statement on Monday, Guterres offered his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and to the governments of Italy and the DRC.
He further expressed his full solidarity with WFP colleagues and the entire United Nations team in the country. The members of the Security Council also offered their condolences to the families of the victims, to Italy and to WFP.
Lachlan-Karr, who is acting as the head of MONUSCO, said he was “upset by the death of Ambassador Luca Attanasio, one of his colleagues, as well as a colleague from the Program. world food ”.
“Those responsible for this attack must be identified and prosecuted with the utmost determination,” he added.
Members of the Security Council also underlined “the need to bring to justice the authors of this act”. They reaffirmed that “their determination to support the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo would not be diminished by this act or any other act of this kind”.
The Secretary-General, through spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, called on the DRC government “to quickly investigate this heinous attack by a joint United Nations mission on the ground and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
-Le Secrétaire général de l'ONU🇺🇳 condamne fermement l’attaque perpétrée par des éléments armés non identifiés contre une mission du @WFP_FR au Nord-Kivu.
— ONU Info (@ONUinfo) February 22, 2021
Guterres reaffirmed that the UN will continue to support the Congolese government and people in their efforts to bring peace and stability to the east of the country.
During a press briefing in New York, the head of United Nations peace operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, echoed the Secretary-General’s message, saying the UN will “support the investigation” into this attack.
Lacroix recalled that the peacekeepers paid a heavy price at the end of last year and at the beginning of this year, with seven peacekeepers killed in the Central African Republic in less than two months and five peacekeepers killed in Mali.
“This highlights the fact that despite all the efforts we have made and (…) which have resulted in a significant improvement in the safety and security of our peacekeepers, there is much to be done,” he added, stressing that peace operations work in extremely difficult environments.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda strongly condemned the incident, saying attacks on humanitarian or peacekeeping convoys may constitute crimes under the International Criminal Court.
“I call on the authorities to fully investigate this incident and bring those responsible to justice,” Bensouda said in a statement.
President Felix Tshisekedi condemned the killing and instructed the authorities to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. He has also dispatched an envoy to rome over the killing.
“The Head of State firmly condemns these heinous acts perpetrated in Kibumba near Goma (North Kivu) and instructs the competent services to shed light on this subject so that their perpetrators are identified and brought to justice,” DR Congo’s presidency said in a statement.
“On behalf of the DRC and in his own name, President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo offers his sincere condolences to the families of the illustrious disappeared, to the President of the Republic of Italy, to the WFP as well as to the entire accredited diplomatic corps in the DRC,” it added.
African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki sent his condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the attack.
Congo’s Interior ministry has said a Hutu militia called the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) was behind the attack.