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John Granville, USAID Officer Killed in Sudan and Cameroon RPCV

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  • bobebill
    All: I share the sad news of the death of one who served with the Peace Corps in Cameroon. He was killed early January 1, 2008 in Sudan. Bill Strassberger
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2008
      All:

      I share the sad news of the death of one who served with the Peace
      Corps in Cameroon. He was killed early January 1, 2008 in Sudan.

      Bill Strassberger
      President, Friends of Cameroon
      +++++++++++++++++++++++

      MEMORANDUM
      Cameroon

      TO: Janet E. Garvey, US Ambassador
      FROM: James T. Ham, Country Director
      DATE: January 2, 2008
      SUBJ: John Granville, USAID Officer Killed in Sudan and Cameroon RPCV

      It was reported in the media that US Diplomat, John Granville was
      killed in Sudan. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22461187/ and
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7167393.stm.

      Mr. Granville was an RPCV from Cameroon. He entered training in June
      1997 and swore in as an official volunteer in August 1997. He served
      in the Education program as a TEFL/AIDS teacher at a high school in
      in the village of Bamendjou in the West Province. His work was well
      received and appreciated by his community.

      Among his many activities , he created an English Club, planted trees
      around the school, organized IST workshops for his counterparts,
      developed his English Teacher colleague into a very good trainer who
      later became a Peace Corps Cross Culture trainer and served several
      generations of Volunteers from 1998-2001. He was responsible for
      building one of the first bilingual primary schools in his village;
      the first students will attend the university this year.

      Mr. Granville completed his service on July 01, 1999. Upon his
      departure he was given an honorary title of "Notable" by the Chief of
      the village. This is an honor bestowed upon exceptional volunteers
      for the work they do in and for their community.

      Mr. Granville was an outstanding volunteer and model RPCV. He was a
      Fulbright Scholar and completed research on HIV AIDS in Cameroon
      focusing on two provinces the West and the Extreme North. His work
      was well received by Peace Corps Cameroon and during his time here in
      country he gave several presentations of his findings at the US
      Embassy in Yaoundé. During his research in Cameroon he came and spoke
      with volunteers and trainees on his experience as a volunteer.

      Peace Corps Cameroon will be sending a card to the family of Mr.
      Granville and will officially send condolences to his community in
      Bamendjou.

      James T. Ham
      Country Director
      Peace Corps
      B.P. 215 Yaoundé
      Cameroon
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Slain diplomat was devoted to Africa

      By CAROLYN THOMPSON
      Associated Press
      Jan.1, 2008

      John Granville knew his work toward restoring peace in Sudan put him
      in harm's way, but he told his family he wouldn't want to do anything
      else. Africa had been "very special to John" since his time as a
      Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, his family said in a statement
      Tuesday, after Granville, 33, and his driver were shot to death in
      the Sudanese capital.

      Granville, who was from Buffalo, was working for the U.S. Agency for
      International Development as part of a team trying to implement a
      2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war between north
      and south Sudan.

      "He told his mom several times … that it's dangerous, what he's
      doing, but he wouldn't want to be doing anything else," said U.S.
      Rep. Brian Higgins, who spoke with Granville's mother, Jane
      Granville, after her son's death.

      Officials were working to return Granville's body to the United
      States, possibly by Wednesday or Thursday, the Buffalo-area
      congressman said.

      Granville, who last called his mother on New Year's Eve, graduated
      from Fordham University and got a master's degree in international
      development from Clark University, his family said. While in the
      Peace Corps, he helped a Cameroon village build its first school.

      "John's life was a celebration of love, hope and peace," the family's
      statement said. "He will be missed by many people throughout the
      world whose lives were touched and made better because of his care."

      Granville had surgery after being struck several times in the attack,
      which instantly killed his Sudanese driver, identified by the
      Sudanese Interior Ministry as 40-year-old Abdel Rahman Abbas.

      He was being driven home at around 4 a.m. when another vehicle
      intercepted his car, the Sudanese Interior Ministry said. Gunmen in
      the car opened fire on Granville's vehicle and fled the scene, the
      ministry said in a statement.

      Higgins said the pair had been in a car with diplomatic plates, and
      investigators are trying to determine a motive.

      "They don't know if it was random or if it was targeted for USAID or
      targeted for John," Higgins said.

      Higgins, a member of a House subcommittee for international relations
      in emerging threats, has been to Sudan twice and praised the work of
      agencies like USAID "for doing the work that government over there
      won't do and can't do."

      "He was doing God's work," Higgins said.

      Granville's work included bringing radios to residents of south Sudan
      to maximize USAID's broadcasting initiatives in the region, according
      to the organization's Web site, which posted pictures Granville
      surrounded by some of those who received radios.

      The shooting came a day after a joint African Union-United Nations
      force took over peacekeeping in Sudan's Darfur region. Though Darfur,
      far to the west, is engulfed in violence, the Sudanese capital of
      Khartoum and its surroundings rarely see political violence or
      attacks by Islamic militants.
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