CJP mourns the loss of UN specialist Kumar Anuraj Jha MA ’07

Kumar Anuraj Jha, a 2007 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, chats in the delegate lounge on the second floor of the main UN building. He was featured in a 2013 Peacebuilder magazine. (Photo by Jon Styer/EMU)

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Kumar Anuraj Jha, MA ’07. Jha died in a car accident on November 30, 2017, in Kartoum, Sudan, where he was working with the United Nations (UN). His wife, Jill Landis Jha MA ’10, and their two young daughters were also in the car but survived the accident. They will be traveling from Sudan to Kathmandu, returning Anuraj to his home country of Nepal.

Click here to view a recording of the UNICEF’s memorial service.

Jha served as a Child Protection Specialist with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “Anuraj has played a crucial role in advancing the development, signing, and implementation of the action plans for the non-recruitment of children by armed groups and armed forces and hosting the recent, successful, first-ever visit of the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict to Sudan,” writes colleague Abdullah A. Fadil, representative for UNICEF Sudan.

Jha started his work on Children and Armed Conflict from a field office in Nepal in 2001 with Save the Children in the midst of the Maoist conflict, according to Fadil. He later led the UN Mission’s Child Protection Section and provided management, monitoring and oversight of the release of 2,000 children from the Maoist army, which was one of the largest UN undertakings in Nepal. He also worked with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict.

Jayne Docherty, program director at CJP, said, “Anuraj will be remembered for his intelligence, his kindness, and his passionate concern for children and young people caught up in the chaos of war and violence. He was a loving husband and a dedicated father. Our prayers go out to Jill, his daughters, his family, and the many others who knew and loved Anuraj.”

Jha was featured in Peacebuilder magazine for his work focusing on issues related to children and armed conflict in Africa.

Posted on December 12, 2017