Home | News    Wednesday 9 January 2013

US offers $10 million reward for information on assassins of USAID diplomat in Sudan

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January 8, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The United States on Tuesday announced that it is offering a total of $10 million for information leading to the arrest of two men convicted by a Sudanese court over killing of an American diplomat employee and his driver five years ago.

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Video footage showing Abdel-Basit Haj al-Hassan explaining their escape route from Kober prison in 2010.

"The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering rewards for information on two individuals involved in the January 1, 2008 murders of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) diplomat John Granville and USAID employee Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama" said a press release by the U.S. State Department today.

"The Department has authorized rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the capture of Abdelbasit Alhaj Alhasan Haj Hamad and Mohamed Makkawi Ibrahim Mohamed, two of five individuals convicted in Sudan for the murders".

Granville and his driver came under a hail of bullet before dawn on 2008 New Year’s Day in a rare crime of its kind in Sudan directed at foreigners.

Sudanese authorities eventually managed to capture five men, believed to be belonging to the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Tawhid, and charged them with the killing of Granville and his driver.

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Video footage showing Mohamed Makkawi speaking about their escape from Kober prison in 2010.

Besides Makkawi and Al-Hassan this included Mohannad Osman Youssef, Abdel-Ra’uf Abu-Zaid Mohamed Hamza and Murad Abdel-Rahman Abdullah .

Except for Abdullah the accused were sentenced to death by hanging in 2009 but a year later the inmates on death row managed to escape from maximum-security Kober prison in the Sudanese capital.

Later it was revealed that the government re-arrested Hamza while the family of Youssef said he was killed in Somalia without giving details.

In late December Al-Qaeda affiliate releaseda detailed 41-minute video on YouTube purportedly filmed inside prison showing the escape route and plan of the four men.

Makkawi and Al-Hassan explained on the video that they dug their way through the kitchen floor all the way to freedom.

The video showed pictures from the inside of the tunnel that they dug through.

The four inmates dug between 0.5 and 1 meters daily using plumbing pipes through the kitchen floor every day after sunset prayers. After they finished they covered the hole in a way making it difficult for anyone to suspect anything.

The Sudanese government which at the time said the prisoners used sewer pipes to escape marinated silence on the video.

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins told ’The Buffalo News’ that such a big-money reward may be just what’s needed to find the fugitives.

Higgins has been working on the matter with the Granville family for years, and he pressed the State Department to offer the reward.

“Perhaps they look to targets that are realistic when offering this kind of money,” said Higgins, who discussed the case with a top USAID official on Tuesday. “I think they’re closing in on them.”

“We think this is a major breakthrough,” said Higgins, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Money is important in that part of the world, as it is everywhere – especially a reward of this magnitude. I think it will be helpful in apprehending the murderers.”

The lawmaker discussed the case today with Earl W. Gast, assistant administrator for Africa at USAID. Afterward, Higgins said the fugitives could now be allied with al-Shabaab, the dominant terrorist group in Somalia.

“My sense is that they [federal authorities] have more information than they’re sharing, obviously, about their whereabouts,” Higgins said.

A cousin of Granville speaking to the same newspaper expressed skepticism on how the men managed to escape so easily.

“I find it incredibly hard to believe that these four men just got out through a sewer pipe and had a car waiting for them,” Paul F. Granville, a cousin of the slain diplomat’s late father said.

The warden of Kober prison was suspended from duty over the incident but was later reinstated after being cleared from negligence.

The United States at the time had called on the Sudanese government to "initiate a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding this escape" and "to prosecute, to the full extent of the law, any individuals or groups found complicit in the escape of these criminals".

For a decade after Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir came to power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989, Sudan became a notorious refuge for militant Islamists.

These included Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US special forces in Pakistan last year and who was based in Khartoum between 1991 and 1996, where he ran a thriving construction business and built mujahideen training camps.

But in the last ten years Khartoum has stepped up its counter terrorism cooperation with the U.S. and denounced its support for militant groups.

(ST)

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  • 9 January 2013 11:26, by Nyakuzuny

    you see those of Sudan they will funishing by United State if they are not mention those who Assassinted An America Diplomate. they will leading to Miss the Economic in Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 9 January 2013 12:06, by Nuer Dominated Liberation of South Sudan

      American will teaches them a lession..they want it or not...Let them learn Fake arab niggas.

      repondre message

    • 9 January 2013 12:09, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      That kind of amount why not to be given to the family of disease late Grauville,althought i know America are the superpower country.
      Arabs who are hungry of money throught this amount will get that man out.
      OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

      repondre message

      • 9 January 2013 19:50, by Peacocktail

        The best way to get figutive is to get Bashir out of the House and every hiden Terrorists shall emerge in bright day light. Sell those money for Weapons and hand them to SRF to dislodge the NCP Terrorists regime. The more they stay in power World will suffers not America alone, they are killing UNAMID, Nubians, Darfurians, People of Blue Nile, enough is engough, end the deals vai SRF for New Dawn

        repondre message

      • 9 January 2013 19:57, by no peace with north

        Arab culture is a bad culture I hate that culture and religion because their religion is against the human life and they believe it is good. I love people, but I don’t love that dirty Islamic religion. if islamic is the only religion on entire world I better follow the traditional believe. because always the gay man need to die with many people criminal, terrorist, gay are all the same.

        repondre message

    • 10 January 2013 15:35, by Johndumo14

      If iam the family of these criminals who assassins of USAID diplomat in Sudan i will give USA information inorder to get this big money,this money will take care of the 2 families,while they stays in jail,this is a fair deal.

      repondre message

  • 9 January 2013 20:06, by wad arab & proud

    we are free men, we are not afraid of US we have our own beleives we will fight any insect which try to touch our beautiful Sudan, by the way it became beautiful after we clean it from you.

    repondre message

    • 9 January 2013 23:06, by Paulino Miabek de Minyiel.

      Jesus Chris! That’s why I hate U.S politics, they never rushed even if they knew who did this. American policy too, make human live less than business or money. Bashiir is already been indicted by ICC against war and war related cases in Darfur. Therefore, he’s the head of the gangs in the state. I endorse Bashiir to be taken as the member of those individuals. Who murdered the U.S relief worker.

      repondre message

    • 11 January 2013 12:52, by jwok

      Dear Wad Sudan & proud
      please notify that you’re not wad Arab you’re wad Sudan
      Sudan is not part of Arab world
      for confirmation just compared yourself with those Arab of
      1. Saudi.
      2. Egypt.
      3. Libya
      4. Iraq
      5. Moroccan...............
      I extremely Sure, after the comparison you will realize that you’re pure African and Sudanese , not wad Arab , Arab is different world

      repondre message

  • 10 January 2013 09:30, by Big Boy

    USA policy is better than Lakes state! do you want to rush to killed Bashir without justification or more evidence, that’ why you are failed state in south sudan because of your act bad behaviours in region.

    repondre message

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