Good Governance Zambia (GGOZA) has learnt with dismay the sad news of the killing of His Excellency Luca Attanasio, Ambassador of Italy to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), his Bodyguard, and Driver, on the 22nd February 2021, near Goma, in the DRC’s Northern Kivu Province.

GGOZA wishes to express our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the Governments of the DRC and Italy and to bereaved families on the untimely demise of their loved ones.

We condemn in the strongest terms this barbaric act and call for calm. We ask that a thorough investigation be conducted and hope the perpetrators can be quickly arrested and brought to justice.

Ambassador Attanasio, 43, was lauded as the youthful and humanitarian face of Italian diplomacy. Rightfully so, his untimely demise in Goma whilst on a mission to assist the local communities, has sparked deep emotions and outrage in Italy and across the globe.

Many eulogize Luca as a generous person who only wanted to do good and believed that Italy could play an important role to promote development and peace around the world.

These latest killings in Goma come barely a year after two demonstrators were killed as they attempted to storm a nearby UN base in protest of the UN missions failure to protect them from rebel groups.

The demise of the Italian Ambassador cannot just pass by without the UN seriously re-evaluating and relooking into its participation in peacekeeping or indeed tensions as the case may be in the DRC, amidst accusations of the UN convoy and it’s diplomatic status being used to supply cash or arms in exchange for minerals such as Gold.

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.

In keeping with the tenets of Good Governance as measured by the UN’s eight factors of Participation, Rule of Law, Transparency, Responsiveness, Consensus Oriented, Equity and Inclusiveness, Effectiveness and Efficiency, and Accountability, GGOZA calls for a serious and thorough assessment of the security situation in that part of the DRC, and the role of the United Nations Mission.