ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has the following updates on the facts surrounding the tragic security incident in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 22 February:
The security incident involved a group of seven people travelling in two World Food Programme (WFP) vehicles on the road from Goma to Rutshuru in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo where they were planning to visit a WFP school feeding programme.
The group comprised five employees of the World Food Programme who were accompanying the Italian Ambassador to DRC and his security escort.
The group left Goma at approximately 09:00 am, local time.
At approximately 10:15 am, local time, the two vehicles were stopped by an armed group and all passengers were forced to disembark from the cars. The WFP driver of one of the vehicles, Mustapha Milambo was killed at this time.
The remaining six passengers were then forced into the surrounding bush at gunpoint where there was an exchange of fire.
During the exchange of fire, the Italian Ambassador, Luca Attanasio and his security escort, Vittorio Iacovacci, were mortally injured and subsequently died.
The four other passengers in the group - all WFP staff – are safe and accounted for. They include WFP Deputy Country Director in DRC, Rocco Leone, WFP School Feeding Programme Assistant, Fidele Zabandora, WFP Security Officer, Mansour Rwagaza, and WFP Driver, Claude Mukata.
The United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) will be leading a detailed review of the incident.
# # #
The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Frances Kennedy, WFP/ Rome,
Tel. +39 06 6513 3725,
Mob. +39 346 7600 806
Tomson Phiri, WFP/ Geneva,
Mob. +41 79 842 8057
Jane Howard, WFP/ London,
Tel. +44 (0)20 3857 7413,
Mob. +44 (0)796 8008 474
Shelley Thakral WFP/ Johannesburg
Shaza Moghraby, WFP/New York,
Mob. + 1 929 289 9867
Steve Taravella, WFP/ Washington,
Mob. +1 202 770 5993