Last Updated on September 23, 2013 by Steven Meurrens
A sad day today.
Annemarie Desloges, a 29-year old Citizenship and Immigration Canada employee, was among the at least 59 people killed in the terrorist attack which took place in Kenya over the weekend.
Ms. Desloges served at Canada’s High Commission in Kenya as a liaison officer with the Canada Border Services Agency.
Her husband, Robert Munk, was injured in the attack but has since been released from hospital.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development has issued the following press release:
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney today issued the following statement:
“It is with heartfelt sadness that we learned of the death in the service of our country, one of our own, Annemarie Desloges, a distinguished public servant with Citizenship and Immigration Canada who served at Canada’s High Commission in Kenya.
“We send our thoughts and prayers and those of all Canadians to Ms. Desloges’ family, friends and colleagues during this most difficult time.
“Canada condemns this senseless act of violence in the strongest of terms, and we call on Kenyan authorities to bring the perpetrators of this terrorist attack to justice.
“Canadian public servants around the world selflessly serve our country proudly. Like Annemarie, they do so because they believe in the cause of humanity. They believe that their work will better the lives of many at home and around the world. They believe in the values that Canada represents.
“We have no doubt that Annemarie touched the lives of many, and it is for that, that she will always be remembered.”
A biographical note on Annemarie Desloges follows.
Backgrounder – Annemarie Desloges
Annemarie Desloges worked as a public servant for the Canadian government since 2006 and became a Foreign Service officer in 2008. Previously posted in Delhi, Annemarie was serving both Citizenship and Immigration Canada as well as the Canada Border Services Agency in Nairobi for the past two years.Annemarie is survived by her husband Robert Munk. She was 29 years old.
The thoughts and prayers of the Government of Canada are with Annemarie’s family, friends and colleagues.
The Professional Association of Foreign Services Officers has issued the following statement:
The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers is devastated by the loss of one our own in the attack at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi.
Annemarie Desloges, 29, was a Canadian diplomat serving in the immigration section of Canada’s High Commission in Kenya. She had recently moved from handling refugee claims to become a liaison officer for the Canada Border Services Agency.
The 1,350 members of our Association offer our deepest sympathies to her husband Robert Munk, her parents Michel and Madeleine, her sister Julie and brother-in-law Laurent, and her extended family and friends at this terrible time.
Our thoughts are also with the families of the dozens of other victims of this heinous crime, including one other Canadian citizen. We wish a full and speedy recovery to the scores injured in this cowardly attack.
Annemarie’s death inflicts a deep wound on the Foreign Service community. She is the first Canadian diplomat killed on posting since Glyn Berry died in an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan in 2006. Annemarie was one of our bright young lights, and hers was a career brimming with promise. Today we grieve the loss not only of a warm and intelligent friend and colleague, but a lifetime’s potential tragically unfilled.
Annemarie joined the immigration stream of the Foreign Service in 2008. Like many officers, she came from a Foreign Service family, accompanying her parents on overseas postings before committing to the same calling herself. She understood well the challenges and hazards of diplomatic life, but believed resolutely in its importance and looked forward to a long career in the Foreign Service. She took great joy in her work and, like her parents and sister, was deeply proud to serve Canada.
Annemarie was exactly the kind of person all Canadians would want as our country’s face and front line abroad. Possessed of a strong work ethic, Annemarie was sharp and meticulous in her work – a true professional – and expressed herself with a poise and confidence which belied her youth.
These skills were put to great effect processing refugee claimants from East Africa over the last year. She was calm in very stressful situations – including frequent visits to refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, and Rwanda – and never lost her sense of humour despite the pressures of the work. During this period, it is estimated she and her small team of four helped resettle thousands of traumatized and vulnerable people from some of the most dangerous countries in the world, including Somalia, to begin a new life in Canada.
Like so many Foreign Service officers, Annemarie had an adventurous spirit and an ability to embrace new places and situations effortlessly. Throughout the regular dislocations which come with this career, the most important thing was that her husband and best friend Robert was happy too. Like so many Foreign Service couples, they were a tight team, managing the ups and downs of life abroad as a single unflappable unit. They were also generous friends and hosts, and their presence was an integral part of the Canadian High Commission’s regular “Karibu” club nights. Our hearts go out to Robert as he copes with this unspeakable loss and recovers from injuries sustained in the attack.
Today, Canada’s Foreign Service mourns a brilliant and dedicated young officer. We pay tribute to her optimism, to her commitment to country, and to the achievements of a career which ended much too early. This senseless loss is keenly felt within our professional family, and Annemarie will be missed dearly. PAFSO will be offering all possible assistance to the Desloges family in the days ahead.
Rest In Peace Annemarie Desloges, and thank you for serving our country.