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Rwanda Genocide Memorial

Rwanda Genocide Memorial

The Rwanda genocide memorial centers  widely spread all over the Country with some. Being more prominent than others to commemorate the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Believed that over 800,000 people  killed in a space of 100 days which started in April 1994. The centers have exhibits of remains, pictures and personal belongings like clothing and shoes of the victims. The genocide centers act as a reminder of the evil act of the genocide. And an appeal that it should never be repeated in Rwanda or anywhere in the world.

The Rwandese embrace peace and reconciliation, they are committed to fight the ideology of genocide. The memorials found throughout the Country are moving testimonies in memory of the 1994 Genocide. Against the Tutsi and the people who lost their lives.

While the largest memorial is in Kigali, the genocide touched all corners of Rwanda and as such. There are many emotionally charged memorials found throughout the Country. Some are as simple as a quiet garden space for contemplation, while others are larger and hold relics, remains and also exhibits on the genocide itself.

The Rwanda Genocide Memorial is also a place of solace . Mourning and link for survivors with their fallen relatives and friends. Here, people come over at different times throughout the year but most especially during the national mourning time in April every year. Some of the major memorial centers include the following;


The Kigali genocide memorial center

The Kigali genocide memorial center is located about 10 minutes’ drive from the City center in Gisozi. It is the final resting place for over 250,000 Rwandans who were brutally murdered in the Genocide. It is run by AEGIS, a UK Non-Governmental Organization which is committed to stop Genocides from happening around the entire World. The center has different exhibit places with spaces of skulls of survivors and their personal belongings, their photographs, reconciliation efforts and also the genocide perpetrators.

Another space has photographs and descriptions of Genocides that have happened around the World showing that this indeed is not a Rwandan problem but a World problem that must never happen again. Outside the building, there are different mass graves and a garden where survivors and those who lost loved ones can come and re-connect. The memorial gardens also provides a place for quiet contemplation about the History of the Genocide against the Tutsi. They allow visitors to reflect on how we all have a personal responsibility of preventing discrimination and mass atrocity.

This memorial also serves to educate people about how the Genocide against the Tutsi took shape and examines it in the 20th century. The wall of names is dedicated to those who died and is a work still in progress. Many of the victims’ names have yet to be gathered and documented and many of them who rest in the graves are unknown.

The centre also provides support for survivors in particular; the orphans and widows. The Kigali Genocide Memorial Center can be included on your itinerary while on the Kigali city tour because of its location near the city center.


Murambi Genocide Memorial

Murambi genocide memorial is set on the grounds of the former Murambi Technical School.  Meanwhile, Murambi Town is by far the most difficult memorial to visit because of the various bodies and skeletons of the Genocide Victims on display. One can almost recognize and identify a survivor in case they were indeed a relative or a friend. The Tutsis were advised to hide in this Technical School with a pretext.  That the French soldiers would protect them but alas, it was a trap. After converging there, there was no food for them and were attacked by the militia. The Murambi Genocide Memorial Site has several mass graves with former classrooms acting as exhibition rooms.


Nyamata genocide memorial

Nyamata genocide memorial center is a former church which is situated about 30km South of Kigali in Bugesera. The center commemorates the 25,000 Rwanda genocide victims that were buried there. This is one of the more dark sites in Rwanda after Murambi genocide memorial.

It is unfortunate that many Tutsi people gathered here considering it a safe sanctuary. Simply because previously, churches were seen as safe places, little did they know that this building was a pure death trap as opposed to life. The Tutsi’s had locked themselves up in the church seeking safety. But were shocked when Hutu militias forcefully opened the doors with hand grenades and eventually reigned on them with machetes. While at Nyamata Genocide Memorial, you will find clothes and National Identity Cards (ID’s) of the dead victims on the Church pews having blood shed all over the place. Up to Date, the Alter cloth is still stained with blood from the massacre of the several victims.


Nyanza Genocide Memorial

The Nyanza Genocide Memorial is situated on the grounds of Kigali’s Ecole Technique Officielle in Kicukiro district, Kigali city. This site oftenly acts as the grounds for the Genocide Anniversary Commemorations which takes place every year in April. The Nyanza Genocide Memorial holds the graves of more than 10,000 Genocide Victims. Who were abandoned by the Belgian UN peace-keeping forces as the genocide intensified. The UN forces left the Tutsi’s in the hands of their massacres by not airlifting them, a sad story of bureaucracy.