Rwanda is no stranger to violence. In 1994, killing swept across the tiny land-locked nation and genocide erupted on a scale unseen since the Hitler horrors of the Second World War. Around one million men, women and children were mercilessly shot or hacked to death.
To alleviate the suffering and restore order to shattered lives, a group of Australian United Nations (UN) peacekeepers were sent to Rwanda under a mandate. These Australians would be exposed to a lack of humanity they were not prepared for and found hard to fathom. On 22 April 1995, the daily horror and tragedy they had witnessed escalated out of control. At a displaced persons camp in Kibeho, in full view of the Australian soldiers, over 4000 unarmed men, women and children died in a hail of bullets, grenades and machete blades at the hands of the Rwandan Patriotic Army. Constrained by UN peacekeeping Rules of Engagement, these Australians could only watch helplessly and try to assist the wounded under the gaze of the murderous killers.
Rwanda - UNAMIR 1994/95 is a detailed account of what happened during this peacekeeping mission.