Luca Attanasio, the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a male Italian military police officer and a local World Food Program (WFP) driver were killed and a UN agency country director was critically injured during an attempted kidnapping near the regional capital Goma on 22 February. The attack occurred about 10 miles north of Goma, near Kanyamahoro town. The convoy, which included two clearly marked WFP cars, was travelling on the RN2 route.
• This is likely to have been a kidnapping gone wrong.
• This is unlikely to have been a premeditated attack on an individual but rather an opportunistic attack in a complex environment.
• There is a long-standing history of abduction in the area.
• This incident’s international resonance will change the security climate in the Kivus for the immediate future.
• Historical data suggest that it will be wise to maintain protocols at a higher level even if local practice relaxes over the coming months.