I am outraged by the January 30 release by Sudanese authorities of Abdel-Ra’uf Abuzaid, who was convicted of murdering our beloved USAID colleagues John Granville and Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama in Khartoum in 2008. Abdel-Ra’uf Abuzaid remains a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. We call on the Sudanese government to uphold accountability by exercising all available legal means to reverse this decision and re-arrest Abdel-Ra’uf Abuzaid. The safety of our staff and partners remains the U.S. government’s highest priority.
John and Abdelrahman were both celebrated members of our USAID Mission in Khartoum. John, 33, was a Foreign Service Officer serving with the Sudan Field Office and Mission for more than three years and was a driving force behind USAID’s support for democracy and good governance. His efforts to distribute more than 200,000 solar-powered radios across remote areas helped Sudanese citizens understand their rights following the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Sudan’s deadly civil war in 2005. Abdelrahman, 39, was one of the original members of USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team for Darfur, supporting USAID’s efforts to deliver critical humanitarian assistance to Sudanese suffering from war and deprivation. Both were murdered while serving the American and Sudanese people and their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic nation.
The lack of transparency about the legal process that led to the release of John and Abdelrahman’s killer is unacceptable—and the assertion that the 2020 U.S.-Sudan Bilateral settlement of legal claims constituted forgiveness for Abuzaid is false and misleading. So too is the claim that John Granville’s family had extended forgiveness for his murder. We will continue to push for full accountability, and I and the entire USAID family extend our deepest condolences to John and Abdelrahman’s families as they continue to endure the trauma of the killing of their loved ones.
As we work to honor the memory of John and Abdelrahman and pursue justice for their murders, we remain committed to the Sudanese people and their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic nation.