Cameroon RPCV killed in Sudan

January 4th, 2008 by admin

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John Granville poses with his mother, Jane.

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

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MEMORANDUM
Cameroon

TO: All Volunteers, PC Cameroon Staff and Cameroon RPCVs
FROM: James T. Ham, Country Director
DATE: January 3, 2008
SUBJ: John Granville, USAID Officer Killed in Sudan was a 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. Our prayers are continually with the Granville family and the RPCV Community.

James T. Ham
Country Director
Peace Corps
B.P. 215 Yaoundé
Cameroon
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The John M. Granville ’93 Memorial Scholarship has been established at Canisius High School in Buffalo, N.Y., by his family, classmates and friends. Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of good character, financial need and scholastic endeavor.

Memorial contributions may be sent to:

The John M. Granville ’93 Memorial Scholarship
Canisius High School
1180 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14209-1494

(http://www.wivb.com/Global/story.asp?S=7566837)

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ABC News:
FBI Joins Investigation Into U.S. Diplomat’s Murder
January 02, 2008 2:41 PM
Kirit Radia and Jason Ryan Report:

The FBI said today agents are on their way to Sudan’s capital to assist the State Department in investigating the death of a USAID worker there.

“The FBI will provide investigative assistance to State Department investigators concerning the murder of USAID employee John Michael Granville in Sudan,” FBI spokesman Special Agent Richard Kolko told ABC News.

The State Department investigators will include agents of the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Granville, along with his Sudanese driver, was shot and killed as he was heading home after midnight on New Year’s Day.

According to an internal State Department incident report, the attack happened minutes after Granville dropped off a female colleague at her home around 2:15 a.m. local time.

Granville, who attempted to get out of the car when the shooting began, was shot repeatedly.

The attackers fled once residents came out of their homes, apparently disturbed by the sound of gunfire.

Granville was first taken to a local clinic and then to a Khartoum hospital. Although he was talking while being treated, the staff was unable to get any details out of him before he died, according to the report.

State spokesman Sean McCormack offered his condolences today, saying the shooting started the year off “on a note of sadness.”

He said the department still doesn’t know the motive for the shooting or who is responsible.

Granville was a well-respected volunteer in Africa.

In 1997, he became an official volunteer for the Peace Corps and served in the village of Bamendjou in Cameroon, where he was bestowed the honorary title of “Notable” by the village chief upon his departure, according to a U.S. government official.

In Sudan, Granville and his driver were “deeply committed to their work and highly respected by their colleagues in Sudan and throughout our organization,” a USAID statement said.

USAID is the leading international donor to Sudan, having contributed more than $2 billion since fiscal year 2004.
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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.