Rwanda

Australian Army Campaigns

Book 1
Big Sky Publishing
1
Free sample

In 1994 a group of Australian UN peacekeepers, made up of soldiers and army medical personnel, was sent to Rwanda under a United Nations mandate to help restore order to the war-torn country. These Australians would be exposed to a lack of humanity they were not prepared for and found hard to fathom. On 22nd 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 4,000 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 the UN peacekeeping Rules of Engagement, these Australians could only watch helplessly and try to assist the wounded under the gaze of the trigger-happy killers. Pure Massacre is a record of what happened during this peacekeeping mission. Kevin "Irish" O'Halloran, a Platoon Sergeant at the time, stresses the weaknesses of the UN charter and what happens when "good men do nothing". He pulls together the perspectives of those Australian soldiers who served in Rwanda at this time. Pure Massacre gives a new and personal voice to the Kibeho Massacre. It takes a special type of bravery, discipline and compassion to do what these soldiers did. Little did they know, when the second tour of Rwanda was over, that they would be the highest decorated UN peacekeeping contingent since the Korean War. For many, their service in Rwanda would come with a personal toll. No Australians died during and immediately after the massacre at Kibeho, but as Pure Massacre testifies, the suffering and tragedy is embedded in their memories.
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About the author

Kevin 'Irish' O'Halloran was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1961 and migrated to Australia with his parents, elder brother and two sisters in 1970. He grew up around the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, for most of his teenage years. In April 1981, he joined the Army and has served on four operational tours of duty, all in the Royal Australian Infantry Corps (RAInf ); two with the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) and two with the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR).He retired from the Army in 2011 after 30 years' service. He has written one other book on Rwanda titled Pure Massacre which is his and others' personal accounts of the deployment to Rwanda and the massacre that occurred at Kibeho in 1995.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Big Sky Publishing
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Published on
Dec 31, 2012
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Pages
210
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ISBN
9781921941481
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Reporting from war zones around the globe, acclaimed journalist William Shawcross gives us an unforgettable portrait of a dangerous world and of the brave men and women, ordinary and extraordinary, who risk their lives to make and keep the peace.
The end of the Cold War was followed by a decade of regional and ethnic wars, massacres and forced exiles, and by constant calls for America to lead the international community as chief peace-keeper. The efforts of that community -- identified with the United Nations but often dominated by the world's wealthy nations -- have had mixed results. In Africa, the West is accused of indifference or too little, too late. In Cambodia, the UN presides over free elections, but the results are overridden. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein continues to defy the UN, and in Bosnia and Kosovo, the West acts hesitantly after terrible slaughter and ethnic cleansing.
Shawcross, a veteran of many war zones, has had broad access to global policymakers, including UN secretary general Kofi Annan, high American diplomats, peacekeepers and humanitarian-aid professionals. He has traveled with them to some of the world's most horrifying killing fields. Deliver Us from Evil is his stark, on-the-ground report on the many crises faced by the international community and its servants as they struggle to respond around the world. He brings home the price many have paid attempting to restore peace and help alleviate terrible suffering. He illuminates the risks we face in a complex and dangerous world.
Some critics have concluded that some interventions may prolong conflict and create further casualties. The lesson we learn from ruthless and vengeful warlords the world over is that goodwill without strength can make things worse. Shawcross argues that recent interventions -- in Kosovo and East Timor, for example -- provide reason for concern as well as hope.
Still, the unmistakable message of the past decade is that we cannot intervene everywhere, that not every wrong can be righted merely because the international community desires it, or because we wish to remove images of suffering from our television screens. Nor can we necessarily rebuild failed states in our image. When we intervene, we must be certain of our objectives, sure of popular support and willing to expend the necessary resources -- even lives. If our interventions are to be effective and humane, they must last for more than the fifteen minutes of attention that the media accord to each succeeding crisis.
That is a tall order. As Shawcross concludes, "In a more religious time it was only God whom we asked to deliver us from evil. Now we call upon our own man-made institutions for such deliverance. That is sometimes to ask for miracles."
In 1994 an orgy of violence swept across the tiny land- locked nation of Rwanda, the intensity of which had not been seen the horrors of WWII. Around one million people were mercilessly shot, hacked to death or burnt alive. A group of Australian UN peacekeepers made up of soldiers and army medical personnel was sent to Rwanda under a United Nations mandate to attempt to restore order and offer assistance. They would be exposed to a tragedy they were not prepared for and found hard to fathom. On 22nd April 1995 the horror they had witnessed escalated beyond anything they had previously seen. At a displaced persons' camp in Kibeho, in full view of the Australian soldiers, over 4,000 unarmed people died at the hands of the Rwandan Patriotic Army. Constrained by the UN peacekeeping Rules of Engagement, these Australians could only watch helplessly and try to assist the wounded. Pure Massacre is a record of what happened during this peacekeeping mission. Kevin "Irish" O'Halloran, a Platoon Sergeant at the time, stresses the weaknesses of the UN charter and what happens when "good men do nothing". He pulls together the perspectives of those Australian soldiers who served in Rwanda at this time. It takes a special type of bravery, discipline and compassion to do what these soldiers did. Little did they know when the second tour of Rwanda was over that they would be the highest decorated UN peacekeeping contingent since the Korean War. For many their service in Rwanda would come with a personal toll. No Australians died during and immediately after the massacre at Kibeho, but as Pure Massacre testifies, the suffering and tragedy is embedded in their memories.
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