3 killed in attack on UN WFP convoy in DR Congo
International desk || shiningbd
The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a World Food Programme (WFP) staff member, together with an Italian embassy official, were killed on Monday during an attack on a UN convoy in the east of the country, the agency has said.
A number of other passengers travelling in the joint field mission were injured.
The group was travelling from Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province, to visit a WFP-run school feeding programme in Rutshuru (about 40 miles north of Goma), the agency said in a statement.
“WFP will work with national authorities to determine the details behind the attack, which occurred on a road that had previously been cleared for travel without security escorts”, the agency added, noting that it is in close contact with the Italian authorities through its offices at its Rome headquarters and in the DRC.
According to media reports, the attack took place around 10 am local time. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although a number of armed groups are active in the region.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, as well as to the Governments of Italy and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in a statement issued later on Monday.
"He further expresses his full solidarity with the WFP colleagues and the entire United Nations team in the country. Guterres called on the Government of the DRC "to investigate swiftly this heinous targeting of a United Nations joint field mission and to bring the perpetrators to justice."
He made it clear that the UN would continue to support the Government and people, "in their efforts to bring about peace and stability in the east of the country."