The second United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR II) was established in July 1994, approximately three months after the Genocide. Australia was requested to supply the central medical support and infrastructure to this 5,000 plus Peacekeeping Force. This first Australian Services Contingent (ASC1) was deployed in August 1994 and was relieved by ASC2 in Feb 1995.
UNAMIR IIís Mission was to help maintain peace in Rwanda, to help re-establish the infrastructure, particularly in the capital Kigali, and to encourage civilians to return from these camps to their homes.
The Mission of the Australian Medical Support Force (AUSMED) was to provide medical support to UNAMIR II and also to the local population on an opportunity basis.
The following pages are adapted from a briefing I gave annually to the RAAF Health Specialist Courses at the RAAF Institute of Aviation Medicine. It is written entirely from the perspective of ASC2 as this was the contingent with which I served. The purpose of the briefing was to provide an overview of what we went through in order to give junior health officers a sense of what their operational role may be in the future. Many of these junior officers have gone on to serve on Peacekeeping and other missions in Bougainville and East Timor.
I hope with time that others will add their own reflections to these pages.
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