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Bodies of slain Italian Ambassador to DRC Luca Attanasio and an Italian Carabinieri police officer are loaded into an Italian Air Force plane at Goma Airport on February 23, 2021. Congolese police say they have arrested key suspects in the murder of the Italian diplomat. FILE PHOTO | AFP

Congolese police say they have arrested key suspects in the murder of an Italian diplomat, nearly a year since the incident which happened in the eastern part of the country.

According to Aba Van Ang, the provincial commissioner for the North Kivu police, six men were arrested on Wednesday. They were presented to Constant Ndima, the governor of North Kivu and are said to be "serious criminals, who have accomplices operating on motorbikes".

The revelations came 11 months after the ambassador, Mr Luca Attanasio, was killed in an ambush in Nyiragongo territory, four kilometres from the eastern DRC town of Goma.

He was attacked by armed gunmen who also killed his bodyguard and his driver as they drove on a road considered "dangerous".

Identities not revealed

The provincial commissioner said that the men were “criminals [who] often kidnap international officials" in North Kivu, but did not reveal their identities.

“Some were operating in neighbouring countries and in the DRC and Maniema province, while others were carrying out their criminal activities in the city of Goma and its surroundings," the North Kivu provincial police commissioner said.

Romy Ekuka Lipopo, vice-governor of North Kivu, wants the suspected bandits brought before the military justice system, suggesting the seriousness with which the government was treating the case.

"I am also appealing to our justice system. It must be our secular arm. Today, let justice be done," he insisted.

Officials at the time had suggested the Italian diplomat had no clearance to travel in a region where, usually, dignitaries are often given additional security escort on prior request. By PATRICK ILUNGA, The East African

 

Montréal and Dar Es Salaam, 19 January 2022 – The successful launch of a new China funded ICAO capacity-building project to strengthen Tanzania’s aviation safety oversight system was celebrated at a special launching ceremony last week.
 
The event was attended by Honourable Eng. Godfrey Kasekenya (MP), Deputy Minister for Ministry of Works and Transport of the United Republic of Tanzania, and by Mr. Xu Chen, Minister Counsellor of the People’s Republic of China to the United Republic of Tanzania. ICAO Secretary General Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar was represented by Mr. Barry Kashambo, Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAF). 
 
In addition to the provision of expert support for the improvement of technical activities in the fields of aerodromes, flight operations, air navigation services, accident and incident investigation, the project will spur Tanzania’s civil aviation system to benefit from workshops and on-the-job training to build human resource capacities in these fields as well as procurement of safety hardware and software tools.
 
Mobilizing resources to support enhancements to capacities of ICAO Member States’ civil aviation authorities and systems is a priority for the UN aviation agency, and the project represents a major contribution towards this goal. 
 
It was underscored at the ceremony that this latest cooperation between Tanzania and ICAO is being pursued despite numerous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it will ultimately improve the level of implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices in  Tanzania to enable safer aircraft operations.
 
Funded through China’s South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, the new collaborative project is implemented through ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Bureau. - International Civil Aviation Organization

Busega’s District Commissioner Garbriel Zakaria confirmed the accident, saying that four journalists and their driver plus six others from the PSV died on the spot. PHOTO THE CITIZEN/NMG

 

Fourteen people, among them six journalists, have have been killed while several others have been injured after a car on tour with Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Robert Gabriel, crashed with a PSV at Nyamikola in Busega district, Simiyu province.

Busega’s District Commissioner Garbriel Zakaria confirmed the accident, saying that four journalists and their driver plus seven other people from the PSV died on the spot.

“It’s true that the accident has now claimed the lives of fourteen people; 11 people died on the spot,” said Mr Zakaria.

“A few minutes after the injured were taken to Nasa health centre, three others passed away.”

The journalists who died have been identified as Johari Saan, Husna Mlanzi from ITV, Van Charles from Icon TV, Abel Ngapemba, Regional communication officer, Anthony Chuwa from Habari Leo Digital, Steven Msengi, Ukerewe Communications officer and Paul Silanga, the driver.

Writing on her Twitter account, President Samia Suluhu Hassan sent a condolence message to the families of the deceased.

“I am shocked by the deaths of 14 people, including six journalists, who passed away this morning after a car they were travelling in collided with a PSV. I send my condolences to the families, journalists and friends who have lost their loved ones. May God rest the souls of the deceased in peace and may the wounded heal quickly,” wrote President Samia. - Lilian Ndilwa, The EastAfrican

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