5 April 2011 - On 1 April 2011 the United Nations in Afghanistan lost seven dear colleagues in an attack by a large group of demonstrators on our operations centre in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. Three UNAMA staff members who came to Afghanistan to help the Afghan people build a better life, and four of our international security team who stood their ground to protect us. With sorrow in our hearts, we remember:
Joakim Dungel, Sweden
Dil Prasad Gurung, Nepal
Chhabi Lal Purja Pun, Nepal
Filaret Motco, Romania
Siri Skare, Norway
Min Bahadur Thapa, Nepal
Narayan Bahadur Thapa Magar, Nepal
Our colleagues are our quiet heroes, and we honour their memories by continuing to work for peace, the protection of human rights and a better life for all Afghans.
Joakim Dungel, 33, followed his passion for defending human rights to some of the most difficult places in the world. A native of Sweden, Joakim trained as an international lawyer and was equally in his element writing scholarly articles and working on cases in Europe as he did interviewing victims of abuses at missions abroad. Before moving to Afghanistan in 2011, where he served as a human rights officer in Mazar-i-Sharif, Joakim worked with the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and in the Middle East and former Yugoslavia.
Colleagues describe Joakim as wise beyond his years, generous, and exceptionally good humored. His ability to make connections with colleagues as well as human rights victims who were not able to speak for themselves was matched by his passion for justice.
Filaret Motco was born in 1967 in Romania. As a young man he attended a military academy, before attending graduate programmes in international relations in Moscow and law in Bucharest.
Filaret's quest for a life working in the realm of foreign policy led him to a series of jobs, first with Romania's army then with Romania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then with the OSCE in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and finally with UNAMA in Afghanistan. Filaret joined the United Nations in Afghanistan in 2006, serving as a governance officer in Kandahar. In 2008, he rejoined UNAMA as a political affairs officer.
Filaret struck those who knew him as energetic and kind. Colleagues describe a sharp thinker with a bubbly and friendly personality who got along with everyone. Filaret is survived by his mother.
Siri Skare, 52, was a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. In 1983, she became the first woman in Norway's history to graduate as a military pilot. She flew Hercules 130's and Orion aircrafts, supporting land and maritime operations. Besides degrees in political science and strategic studies, Siri was a 2010 graduate of the US Air Force's War College. In 2008 she served as a staff officer at US Central Command in Florida.
Siri was seconded to UNAMA in August, 2010, as a military advisor. It was her second posting to Afghanistan.
Friends recall a person character who was a role model to other women and girls in Norway. She is the first female Norwegian military officer to be killed in Afghanistan. Friends describe Siri as motivated and positive, the type of person colleagues relished working alongside. Siri is survived by her daughter.
Min Bahadur Thapa, a native of the Myagdi district of Nepal, joined the UN security detachment in 2010. Initially he was posted to defend the UNOCA compound in Kabul, but he was later transferred to the UN complex in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Before this Min Bahadur had a long and distinguished career with the Indian Army, in which he served for 28 years. During this time Min Bahadur achieved the rank of Junior Commission Officer with the 2/4 Gorkha Rifles. Upon retirement Min Bahadur spent about two and a half years working as security aboard cruise liners. Colleagues describe Min Bahadur as a hard working and dedicated soldier and supervisor. He is survived by his wife, Lekh Maya Thapa, two sons and a daughter.
Chhabi Lal Purja Pun, a native of the Myagdi district of Nepal, worked for IDG security in Afghanistan since 2005. During this time he defended UN compounds in Kabul, Kalat, Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif.
Before coming to Afghanistan Chhabi Lal had a long and venerable career in the Indian Army, where he served with the 3/8 Gorkha Rifles for 24 years. He achieved the rank of sergeant. Chhabi Lal had significant combat experience. Friends describe Chhabi Lal as a loyal and motivated soldier. He is survived by his wife, Purni Purja Pun, two sons and a daughter.
Narayan Bahadur Thapa Magar, a resident of Rupandehi district of Nepal, joined IDG Security in Afghanistan in September, 2010. Before this, Narayan Bahadur had a long and distinguished career as a professional soldier. He spent 19 years with the 1/5 Gorkha Rifles in the Indian Army. Six month were spent deployed to the UN mission in Sudan. Narayan is survived by his wife Yami Kumari Thapa and two sons.
Dil Prasad Gurung, a native of Pokhara in Nepal, joined IDG Security in Afghanistan in August, 2010. Before this he had a long and distinguished career in the Indian Army where he served in the 3/3 Gorkha Rifles. Altogether Dil Prasad served in the Indian army for 19 years, achieving the rank of sergeant. Dil Prasad is survived by his wife, Kumari Vija Gurung, as well as two sons and a daughter.
In Memoriam for Mazar-e-Sharif UN Colleagues:
Please write your condolence message in the form below and include the name of the member of staff that you are remembering: