25th Anniversary of Operation TAMAR in Rwanda

Hayden Fritzlaff 20 February 2020
Australian Peacekeeping Memorial and Australian War Memorial Canberra
22 February 2020, 10:00 am

The National Commemorative Service for United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda II Operation TAMAR will take place on Saturday February 22. Image: dva.gov.au

In 1994, ethnic tensions in Rwanda erupted into violence across the country as members of Rwanda’s majority Hutu ethnic group began murdering members of the country’s other main ethnic group, the Tutsi. Some half a million people died, including ten United Nations personnel.

On Saturday February 22, join representatives from the United Nations and other peacekeeping bodies as they commemorate what was arguably the first violent peacekeeping activity in which the Australian Defence Force took part since the Vietnam war.

A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial on Anzac Parade, followed by an  official reception in Anzac Hall at the Australian War Memorial Canberra.

Seating will be provided at the ceremony, as well as at the official VIP reception afterwards.

Vice President of the Australian Peacekeeper & Peacemaker Veterans’ Association, Ian Lindgren says the humanitarian crisis in Rwanda between 1994 and 1996 is remembered particularly because of its violence. “The overall UN operation was known as Operation TAMAR, which was largely medial in nature and had a protection force numbering about 700 people or so. In the post-Vietnam era, when we’d just started participating in a large scale humanitarian operations, this was one where the world looked on in horror, when unspeakable atrocities were committed.

“What’s special about this year is that it is the 25th anniversary and it coincides with the awarding of the Meritorious Unit Citation, recognising the sustained and outstanding service of those involved,” Lindgren said.

For more information about the event, and for background on the conflict, head to dva.gov.au.
For those unable to attend the service, watch the event live streamed here.

Find out more about the Australian Peacekeeper & Peacemaker Veterans’ Association at their website.

Operation TAMAR

When ethnic tensions in Rwanda turned violent in 1994, a large contingent of Australian service men and women were deployed to assist in peacekeeping efforts.This is the story of Operation TAMAR.Veterans who served in the Operation can also apply to receive their individual Meritorious Unit Citation at the official post event function. Australia says #ThankYouForYourService. For more information and eligibility, visit: https://www.defence.gov.au/medals/Hon-Decs/Gall-Dist/Meritorious-Unit-Citation.asp

Posted by Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs on Thursday, 6 February 2020

The Details

What: National Commemorative Service for United Nations (UN) Assistance Mission in Rwanda II Operation TAMAR 

Where: The ceremony will be held at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial on Anzac Parade, with the official reception for VIPs to follow in Anzac Hall at the Australian War Memorial

When: Saturday 22 February. Ceremony begins at 10:00 am

More information available here.

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