US Embassy Libya: New Chargé d’ Affaires William Roebuck Assumes Office

US Embassy Tripoli released a January 4 statement on the arrival of the new U.S. Chargé d’ Affaires to Libya:

William Roebuck has arrived in Tripoli as the U.S. Chargé d’ Affaires to Libya.  *Chargé Roebuck will continue the work of Laurence Pope, who has served in that capacity since October 2011 following the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.  Mr. Roebuck looks forward to working with the Libyan government and the Libyan people as we continue to build the relationship between our two countries during this historic time.

Mr. Roebuck joined the Foreign Service in 1992 and has held a wide variety of positions both in Washington and in the Middle East.  He served as Political Officer in the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem (1995-1997), Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs (1997-1998), Political Officer in the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv (2000-2003), Political Counselor and acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus (2004-2007); Deputy Office Director for Arabian Peninsula Affairs (2007-2009), and Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (2009-2010).  Most recently, Mr. Roebuck served as Director for the Office of Maghreb Affairs.

Prior to joining the State Department, Mr. Roebuck served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps, teaching English in Cote d’Ivoire from 1978-1981.  He also worked as an English teacher and school administrator at a Saudi military school in Taif, Saudi Arabia from 1982-1987.  A graduate of Wake Forest University, Mr. Roebuck also holds a law degree from the University of Georgia.  He speaks French and Arabic and is married with one son.

Mr. Roebuck did a university lecture on the Arab Spring in November 2011; below is a slightly expanded bio posted by the Middle Eastern and North African Student Association via FB:

William Roebuck became Director for the Office of Maghreb Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in September 2010. His office has been on the front lines, helping shape the U.S. government’s diplomatic response to the momentous developments known as the Arab Spring. He served as Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from July 2009 to August 2010, covering Iraq’s external relations and leading the Embassy’s and the resident international community’s efforts to support the critical March 2009 Iraqi national elections. Roebuck served as the Deputy Office Director for Arabian Peninsula Affairs from 2007 to 2009, focusing on our relations with key Gulf allies such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar and counter-terrorism cooperation with Yemen. From 2004-2007, he served as the Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. In his last year of that assignment, Roebuck served as Deputy Chief of Mission. Prior to his assignment in Syria, he covered political issues in the Gaza Strip, while assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv from 2000 to 2003.

He narrowly survived an attempted assassination outside Gaza City in 2003. In preparation for his work in Gaza, Roebuck studied Arabic from 1998-2000 at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington and at the FSI branch language school in Tunis. He served in Washington as the staff assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs from 1997-98.

Updated @ 1/9 11:11 am:  One of our readers (thanks Rodney!) note that the statement above on the date of Lawrence Pope’s assuming leadership after the death of Ambassador Stevens is incorrect. It should be October 2012, not 2011.

domani spero sig

 

 

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$10 Million Bounty for Sudanese Killers of USAID Employees Killed in 2008

Almost five years to the day a USAID officer and FSN were killed in Khartoum, the U.S. Government announced a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of two of their killers.  The announcement says to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  The embassy, however, has no arrest power, so presumably the arrest and capture can only be done with the cooperation of the host country.  What we don’t want to see is for these criminals to be arrested in the Sudan (again), the USG paying off the $10 million bounty and for the killers to escape once more, as they have done once before from what purportedly was the country’s maximum security prison.

Convicted Killer of USAID Employees in Sudan, and 2010 Escapee Reportedly Killed in Somalia

How much does a US diplomat’s life worth? About $1,800 US dollars, and look there’s no raging mob…

US Embassy Sudan and Those Critical Pool and Picnic Resources
Here is the announcement:

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.

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 Makawi Ibrahim Mohamed, two of five individuals convicted in Sudan for the murders.

Granville, a U.S. citizen, and Abbas, a Sudanese national, were leaving a New Year’s Eve celebration in Khartoum, Sudan, when gunmen opened fire on their car, killing both of them. Granville worked on democracy and governance programs for USAID. He was credited with being the driving force behind the distribution of over 200,000 solar-powered radios used to inform citizens in remote areas of Sudan of their rights and responsibilities under the historic 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and subsequent 2010 national elecions. Abbas was born in Juba, now the capital of South Sudan, and began his USAID career in 2004 as one of the original members of the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team for Darfur.

Five men were tried and convicted in 2009 by a Sudanese court for their involvement in the murders. Four of those men – including Abdelbasit and Makawi — were convicted of murder and sentenced to death but escaped from prison on June 10, 2010, before their sentences could be carried out. Of the four escapees, one was recaptured. A second was reportedly killed in Somalia in May 2011. Abdelbasit and Makawi remain at large and are believed to be in Somalia.

Makawi had ties to the Sudan-based terrorist organization al-Qaida in the Land of the Two Niles, which conspired to attack other U.S., Western, and Sudanese targets. He was the leader of the attack that killed Granville and Abbas and was identified as one of the gunmen. Makawi was born in 1984 in Sudan and speaks English and Arabic.

Abdelbasit was the second shooter in the attack. He was born in Sudan and has used birthdates in 1979 and 1983. He also speaks English and Arabic.

More information about these individuals is located on the Rewards for Justice web site at www.rewardsforjustice.net. We encourage anyone with information on these individuals to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, or the Rewards for Justice office via the website (www.rewardsforjustice.net), e-mail (RFJ@state.gov), or mail (Rewards for Justice, Washington, DC 20520-0303, USA). All information will be kept strictly confidential.

The Rewards for Justice program is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $125 million to more than 80 persons who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.

Shortly before the fifth death anniversary of the USAID employees, the Sudan Tribune reported  that a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda has published a video purportedly showing the escape of four men accused of killing John Granville and his Sudanese driver from a maximum security prison in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.  The four managed to escape in June 2010 from Kober Federal prison under mysterious circumstances. The report says that the YouTube video produced by a group calling itself ’Al-Hijratain for Media production’ explained in extensive details how the escape was planned and executed. Apparently, a substantial portion of the 41-minute video was filmed from inside the prison in broad daylight raising questions about the level of security the prisoners were subject to.  The warden of Kober prison, according to the Sudan Tribune was suspended from duty over the incident but was later reinstated after being cleared from negligence.

domani spero sig

 

 

 

US Embassy Caracas: Former FSN Sentenced to Nine-Month Prison Term in Visa Application Scheme

We have previously posted about the arrest of an FSN from US Embassy Caracas on conspiracy/bribery charges in a visa application scheme (see US Embassy Caracas FSN Arrested on Conspiracy/Bribery Charges in Visa Applications Scheme.

In November, USDOJ announced that the former employee, Christian Adolfo Paredes Uzcategui, 44, of Caracas, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  The charge carried a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. (see US Embassy Caracas: Former FSN Pleads Guilty for Receiving Illegal Gratuity).

Last month, the former embassy employee was sentenced to nine months in prison; the official announcement did not mention any fine.

Via DOJ:

A former visa assistant for the United States Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, was sentenced today to nine months in prison for accepting payments to aid people in facilitating visa applications, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Scott Bultrowicz, Director of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, announced.

Christian Adolfo Paredes Uzcategui, 44, of Caracas, pled guilty in November 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of receiving an illegal gratuity by a public official. The Honorable James E. Boasberg sentenced him today.

Paredes was arrested in May 2012 following an investigation by the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.

According to a statement of facts, signed by the defendant as well as the government, Paredes worked for the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas as a visa assistant for non-immigrant visa applications. His duties included screening incoming documentation and information from a variety of sources to organize and track non-immigrant visa requests and ensuring that the legal requirements of non-immigrant visa applications were met.

As a visa assistant, he had access to Embassy databases, but only for official business and on a need-to-know basis. He was not to share this information without official permission.

In the middle of 2011, Paredes began receiving money from a private individual who acted as a “facilitator” for Venezuelan applicants seeking non-immigrant U.S. visas. In exchange, Paredes provided information about the facilitator’s clients. Between March 2011 and February 2012, the facilitator wire-transferred more than $5,000 to bank accounts controlled by Paredes in exchange for information about clients.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen and Director Bultrowicz commended the efforts of those who investigated the case for the Diplomatic Security Service. They also praised those who worked on the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia, including Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Mudd.

Original announcement posted here.

domani spero sig