Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has condemned the “barbaric” killing of Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, describing the development as a setback to efforts to restore normalcy in the eastern part of the DRC.
Italian ambassador to the DRC, Luca Attanasio, and two other people were killed on Monday in an attack on a United Nations convoy in the restive east of the central African country.
Masisi, who is chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) security organ, said SADC condemned “this barbaric and heinous act of cowardice.”
“It is our fervent hope that the perpetrators will be quickly arrested and brought to justice,” the Botswana leader said in a statement on Wednesday.
He said it was unfortunate that the incident occurred while the ambassador was on a mission to assist the local communities in the DRC.
“There is no doubt that this unfortunate development is a serious set-back to the ongoing efforts to restore normalcy in the Eastern part of the DRC.
“It threatens not only the peace and stability in the DRC, but also the region as a whole. It also calls for a thorough assessment of the security situation in that part of the DRC, as the United Nations Mission is working on its withdrawal process from the country.”
The convoy from the World Food Programme was attacked around mid-morning on February 22 during an attempted kidnapping near the town of Kanyamahoro, about 16 kilometres north of the regional capital Goma.
Attanasio was killed together with an Italian military police officer and their driver.