Brussels, Paris, 22 February 2021――― It is with deep sadness that Médecins du Monde learned this morning of the assassination in Goma of Mr. Luca Attanasio, Italian Ambassador to the DRC, his bodyguard Mr. Vittorio Iacovacci and their driver Mr. Mustapha Milambo, during an armed attack on a World Food Programme (WFP) convoy.
In these difficult times, Médecins du Monde would like to offer its sincere condolences to the families and close ones of the 3 victims.
The MdM teams in Kinshasa are very affected as they knew the ambassador and his wife, with whom MdM shares a common struggle, that of the fate of street children. Indeed, with incredible humanity, the late ambassador supported the association “Mama Sofia” that his wife had magnificently created. With the support of its partner, the Reejer, Médecins du Monde ensures a better future for these thousands of street children in Kinshasa.
We will continue this fight in his memory.
This inhumane act is only the reflection of a situation of insecurity that is still very present in the East of the DRC and of which the civilian populations are and remain the first victims.
As a partner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr Denis Mukwege, Médecins du Monde continues to call on the Congolese government and international bodies to strengthen the mechanisms for fighting impunity. As the General Coordinator said in Bukavu: “Impunity must end. Whether it is heinous murders or rapes, criminals have to be held accountable for their crimes, the people in the DRC have suffered too much violence for too long. Did you know that we receive 4 survivors of sexual violence every day at Panzi Hospital? Although victims were subjected to life-threatening sexual violence, perpetrators are not found guilty. On the other hand, this assassination of a diplomatic staff should remind everyone of the extreme difficulty for humanitarian actors to have access to vulnerable populations in these conflict zones”.
Médecins du Monde, as a neutral and impartial humanitarian actor, calls on all parties to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law.
In DRC, Médecins du Monde is working in Kinshasa and in Eastern DRC (South Kivu and Tanganyika provinces) to ensure universal health coverage for vulnerable populations. More specifically, MdM is strengthening the health system by providing, among other things, qualified human resources, support in terms of medicines and equipment and by ensuring free, quality healthcare. Our teams, made up mainly of local staff, are in the field every day, working closely with the local population.