Congo condemns six to life for killing Italian envoy.


A military court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo sentenced six men to life imprisonment for their roles in the murders of the Italian ambassador, his bodyguard, and his chauffeur.

On February 22, 2021, envoy Luca Attanasio, Italian bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci, and their Congolese chauffeur Mustapha Milambo were murdered as they traveled from the eastern city of Goma to a World Food Programme initiative.

Italian government attorney Boniface Balamage said that five of the six individuals granted life sentences were already in custody, while the sixth was at large and had been tried in absentia.

On the day that justice was served, the Italian embassy in Kinshasa tweeted, “We commend the exemplary conduct and dedication of Luca, Vittorio, and Moussa (Mustapha).”

Confirmation of the court’s verdict by Congolese authorities was not immediately attainable.

The Congolese presidency asserted at the time that six armed men ambushed the two-car convoy, killed Milambo, and kidnapped six occupants.

After being pursued by the army and park rangers, the party engaged in a gun battle in which two Italians were killed by the kidnappers.

Last year, police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that they had apprehended suspects in the aforementioned murders and kidnappings of aid workers.

Militias in Eastern Congo have fought government troops and each other for decades over territory and resources. The United Nations and other humanitarian organizations have warned that previously uncommon kidnappings and assaults on aid convoys are on the rise.

Attanasio will serve as ambassador in Kinshasa in 2019.

Shortly after the assassinations, his and Iacovacci’s bodies were sent to Rome, but Milambo’s was buried in Goma.

In Italy, Attanasio’s death elevated him to the status of national hero, but he left behind a wife and three small daughters. After Attanasio’s demise, Seddiki met Pope Francis and told him about her late husband’s devotion to Africa.



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