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The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday, 10 February 2020

Letter to the Editor: 25 years since Australia’s involvement in United Nations Rwanda Mission

Dear Editor

On Saturday, 22 February 2020 the nation will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda, known as Operation TAMAR, providing us all with the opportunity to recognise the dedication and sacrifice of those who served in this conflict.

From 1994 to 1996 it is estimated that up to 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda. The magnitude of the violence and killings perpetrated on largely innocent civilians gained worldwide attention and condemnation.

For the more than 700 Australian service men and women who served in Rwanda as part of the United Nations Assistance Mission, advanced training and prior deployments could not prepare even the most experienced for what was awaiting them in Rwanda.

Australian service men and women gained great respect and admiration for their compassion, professionalism and humanity.

To mark the anniversary, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will hold a National Commemorative Service at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra on Saturday, 22 February 2020 at 10.00am.

At the service, the Meritorious Unit Citation Warrants will be presented to the Australian Defence Force on behalf of Australian Service Contingents 1 and 2 for their service in Rwanda on Operation TAMAR between July 1994 and March 1996.

For those who cannot make the service, I encourage you to tune into the ABC’s live national broadcast.

More details about the Canberra commemoration can be found on the DVA website. For those in need, Open Arms, Veterans & Family Counselling Service, can be contacted on
1800 011 046.

Darren Chester
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: (02) 6289 6466

Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au