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Attanasio 'loved life and dreamed of peace' - wife

Attanasio 'loved life and dreamed of peace' - wife

After ceremony in Rome to mark third anniversary of killing

ROME, 28 February 2024, 18:39

ANSA English Desk




Slain Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Luca Attanasio "loved life and dreamed of peace", said his wife Zakia Seddiki on Wednesday after a wreath-laying ceremony at the foreign ministry in Rome to mark the third anniversary of the ambush in which his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci and their Congolese driver Mustapha Milambo were also killed.
    He was a "simple and idealistic young man whose values were steeped in generosity and concreteness," she added of the diplomat who was in a convoy targeted by six gunmen on February 22, 2021 while travelling from Goma in the eastern province of North Kivu to a World Food Programme school feeding programme in Rutshuru, 70 km away.
    Seddiki thanked the network of diplomats for pausing on February 22 "to remember their sacrifice".
    "Thank you for keeping their memory alive," she added.
    "That day, I lost my husband, the father of my three beautiful daughters. Keeping his memory alive has a value that goes beyond his person, it means giving recognition to how he interpreted his work, a man of goodwill, an extraordinary diplomat, a generous father, an unforgettable companion," continued Seddiki.
    Attanasio "represented his country with great dedication and humanity. He never looked down on anyone, even when he held positions of responsibility, his commitment was all-round seven days a week", she said.
    "I now feel the responsibility to continue his commitments" and "to give substance to his words".
    Seddiki also thanked Premier Giorgia Meloni for her "discreet, assiduous and affectionate presence" and Cabinet Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano for his "authoritative and wise closeness".
    Earlier this month a Rome preliminary hearings judge dropped a manslaughter case against two World Food Programme (WFP) staffers for allegedly failing to provide adequate security for Attanasio, 43, and Iacovacci, 42, on grounds of diplomatic immunity.
    The prosecution said it would appeal before the Court of Appeal against the decision of the judge to ensure that the rights of the two Italian citizens and their families' rights are protected.
    Last May a DRC court handed life sentences to six men for the three murders and awarded two million dollars in damages to Italy.
    Five of those convicted are behind bars and the sixth, the gang's leader, is a fugitive from justice.
    The six convicts are members of one of the militias that have been running rampage since regional conflicts in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
    However, Attanasio's father Salvatore said at the time that their conviction has not cleared up what actually happened.
    "We are still waiting for the truth," Salvatore Attanasio told ANSA.


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