The Italian diplomat Luca Attanasio, who died on Monday in an attack on a UN convoy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), was one of Italy’s youngest ambassadors, known for his love for Africa and his commitment to peace.
Born in Saronno, north of Italy, about 30 kilometers from Milan, on May 23, 1977, he joined the diplomatic service in 2003.
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Came to Democratic Republic of Congo in 2017 as head of mission and was appointed extraordinary ambassador and plenipotentiary in 2019.
His murder generated consternation and indignation throughout the country over the “cowardly” armed attack against a convoy of the World Food Program (WFP), near Goma, in the east of that country, in which the Italian policeman who also killed him He was escorting and a UN driver.
“Today is a dark and sad day for Italy”Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio acknowledged when lamenting the violent death of the ambassador.
Graduated from the prestigious Bocconi University of Milan, Attanasio he had a doctorate in international politics and had been a business consultant.
His first missions abroad were as Secretary of Commerce at the Italian embassy in Switzerland, from 2006 to 2010, and consul in Casablanca, Morocco, from 2010 to 2013.
At the service from 2013 to 2015 at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, he was secretary to the head of the department for globalization and global affairs.
In 2015 he returned to Africa as First Counselor of the Italian Embassy in Nigeria, and moved to Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo, in September 2017.
Last year he received the international Peace Nassiriya award “for his commitment to safeguarding peace among peoples” and “For having contributed to the realization of important humanitarian projects, distinguishing himself for his altruism, dedication and spirit of service in support of people in difficulty.”
Emanuela Del Re, Deputy Foreign Minister from 2018 until last month, paid tribute to “a man endowed with courage, humanity and uncommon professionalism,” she wrote.
“I remember his contagious smile, his class, his great knowledge of African affairs”, he stressed.
Father of three children, the diplomat was married to Zakia Seddiki, of Moroccan origin, founder of the NGO “Mama Sofia”, which helps single mothers and their children in the poorest areas.
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