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By Godfrey Olukya 12-10-2012

USA has posted an official to head her embassy in Libya following the murder of the former ambassador in Benghazi a month ago.

The official’s title is Charge d’affairs. He is to act as as the head of mission in Libya until when another ambassador is appointed.

Laurence Pope was reportedly appointed from retirement. He reported for duty at USA embassy in Tripoli on  Wednesday.

He has replaced former US ambassador, the late Chris Stevens who was killed on September 11th 2012 at US consulate in Benghazi along with three other embassy officials by suspected Libyan Islamists.

The killers claimed to be avenging the featuring in US of a film that abused Islam. The film sparked of riots in several countries which led to destruction of US property at embassies.

Laurence Pope, is  reportedly a veteran diplomat who has been appointed out of retirement. He had left foreign service in 2000.

His  knowledge of Arabic has excited some Libyans. ‘He is one of us.’ said Ahmed Hafza, a businessman in Tripoli. He added’ He speaks Arabic fluently. He is likely to be a good representative of US in our country.’

Media houses in Libya have quoted US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying that she asked Pope to come out of retirement to take up the post as charge d’affaires in Libya pending a decision on who to nominate as the next ambassador.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was quoted by the same sources saying ,’We will continue to assist as Libya builds democratic institutions and broad respect for the rule of law. Pope’s initial appointment could be for
up to a year.’

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