Genocide memorial centers in Rwanda

Genocide memorial centers in Rwanda

Genocide memorial centers in Rwanda: On April 7th 1994 a horrific terror/ massive killing starting in Rwanda the land of a thousands hills, this massive killing is refered to the Rwanda genocide and also known as the genocide against the Tutsi. Rwanda genocide was a massive killing directed to the Tutsi, Twa and the moderate Huntu living in Rwanda at that time and it was led by the government led by the Hutu, Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi militias. 

Rwanda genocide ended July 1994 resulting into the deaths over 500,000 – 1,074,016 individuals  in various parts of Rwanda, the genocide resulted into many genocide memorial centers which were built in memory of the people who killed during this horrific incident, these centers can be visited while in Rwanda and they include 

Kigali genocide memorial center 

Kigali genocide memorial center is situated in Kigali the capital city of Rwanda in Gisozi along KG 14Avenue and in a distance of about 10 minutes drive from the city center, this genocide museum was established in 1999 and inaugurated in April 2004. Kigali genocide memorial center was established in commemoration of 1994 Rwanda genocide, the center is a permanent memorial to the victims of the genocide and serves as a place where the bereaved bury their family and friends. 

Kigali genocide memorial center is a resting site for 250,000 Rwandese who were killed as the fights of the genocide escalated, this center is visited by many tourists both international and local with a purpose of learning more about the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Kigali genocide memorial center showcases the genocide and describes the history of Rwanda which proceeded after, the center consists of 

  • three permanent exhibitions situated on the upstairs floors, the largest exhibition documents the genocide thus giving it a historical context 
  • children’s memorial consisting of life-sized photos accompanied with intimate details about their favorite toys, their last words and the way they were killed 
  • Exhibition about the history of the genocidal violence from various parts of the world 
  • education centre
  • Memorial gardens and 
  • National documentation centre of the genocide. 

Kigali genocide memorial centre also a mass grave yard with numerous graves, this site is visited by many people so as tore-connect with their loved ones who lost their lives because of the genocide. 

Murambi genocide memorial center 

Murambi genocide memorial center is located in Murambi town in southern Rwanda, this genocide museum was established on 21th April 1995 commemoration of Rwanda genocide of 1994 and the victims who lost their precious lives because the genocide.  

The present day Murambi genocide memorial center was a technical school and in 1994 it became a site for the massacre of over 60000Tutsis, when the war broke the Tutsi in the region run to the local church for protection against the Hutu Interahamwe military men. On reaching the church’s bishop and the mayor sent them  to Murambi technical school with claims that they will be more safe at the school since they will be getting protection for the French troop little did they know that it was a trap. On April 21 1994 about 6,500 Tutsi traveled to the technical centre and when they arrived, no water or foods was offered to them. This was intended to weak them so that cannot resist during the attack, the French soldiers disappeared as the school was attacked by the Hutu Interahamwe military men. Over 45,000 Tutsi were murdered as many hours of defending themselves using stones and those who managed to escape were killed the following day. In attempt to run away from the killing some Tutsi tried to hide in the church nearby, after their death the French colonialist brought in heavy equipments digging several pits where dead bodies were buried and on top of the mass grave they built a volley ball court as a way of hiding what took place. 

it is said that only 34 people were able to survive the killing in Murambi, Murambi genocide memorial center contains 50,000 graves and a genocide museum showcasing skeletons and mummified bodies of some of the thousands of Rwandese killed in Gikongoro Province in 1994 Rwanda genocide. 

Nyamata genocide memorial 

Nyamata genocide memorial site is an amazing site showcasing the remains of the horrific Rwanda genocide of 1994, this site is located in Bugesera 30 kilometers south of Kigali the capital city of Rwanda the city of a thousand hill. Ntarama genocide memorial site is a former church commemorating 50,000 Rwandese genocide victims who are buried at this site, these people fell victim of the Kigali genocide which took place in 1994 and it is the most historical dark hour happening in Rwanda. 

Ntarama genocide memorial site is one of the more dark sites after Murambi genocide memorial site, during the time of the Kigali genocide many numbers of Tutsi people gathered at Ntarama church as a safe place since the churches were considered safe at the time of the genocide. Unfortunately, this was a death trap set by the Hutu, when the Tutsi were inside the church (about 10,000 individuals), they were shot by grenades, bullets and killed with matches. Up today the church shows how the Hutu perpetrators made holes in the walls to through grenades, bullet holes are seen through the ceiling and the altar cloth is stained by the blood of the victims. Even the people in areas surrounding the church were killed 

The bodies of victims are buried in this site and their clothes and identity cards are exhibited, the indent cards are used to identify the victims either Tutsi or Hutu 

Nyanza genocide memorial 

Nyanza genocide memorial centre is situated in Kicukiro district on the grounds of Kigali’s Ecole Technique Officielle, the memorial center was built to commemorate Kigali genocide of 1994 and the victims of the killings of the genocide and at this center there are 10,000 graves of the victims.

When the genocide starting targeting the Tutsi they ran to Technique Officielle located on the outskirts of Kigali since it was protected by the Belgian United Nations Peace Keeping Force who were stationed at the school. By April 1994 the Tutsi were at the school and at first the Belgians did not accept them and they said the Tutsi were to leave by tomorrow morning but later they were left to stay, the following days the Belgians withdrew its United Nations troops from the station and they left abandoning over 2000 Rwandese with over 400 children. When the soldiers left the Interahamwe military men  attacked the Hutus and killed along the dirt road in the nearby Nyanza, after being killed they were dumped in this place as garbage.

Ntarama genocide memorial 

Ntarama genocide memorial is situated in Bugesera district south of Kigali city the capital city of Rwanda and in a drive of 1 hour, Ntarama genocide museum is a former catholic church commemorating the Kigali genocide of 1994 and 5,000 people who were massacred at this site. When compared to other genocide memorial centers, Ntarama genocide memorial centre is smaller in size, when the genocide against the Tutsi broke out they run to Ntarama Catholic Church looking for protection since it was the village parish. While at the church the Tutsi were attacked by the Hutu miltalias, so as to get access to the Hutus they(Hutu miltalias) removed the bricks of the structure on by one ending up shooting and cutting them with machetes to death.  

Nyarubuye genocide memorial 

Nyarubuye genocide memorial is situated in the eastern province of Rwanda in Nyarubuye village, Nyarutunga cell, Nyarubuye sector in Kirehe district. Nyarubuye genocide memorial site commemorates the Kigali genocide of 1994 and the 51,000 victims of the genocide who are buried in this site. 

Genocide memorial centers in Rwanda
Genocide memorial centers in Rwanda

When the genocide began people were ordered to stay home by a radio announcement but because the Tutsi were already scared for their lives, they moved to Nyarubuye village and upon their arrival, some went to church and others joined their relatives in the same village. Unfortunately, the local community collaborated with the Gendarmes and the Interahamwe to launch a massive killing against the Tutsi, in the evening of 12th April the Gendarmes and the Interahamwe armed with guns, machetes, grenades traditional weapons and guns surrounded the area killing the Tutsi. 

The killing was so massive that out of over 35,000 people only 18 people survived, mass graves were dug in this site and the bodies of the victims were buried here. Nyarubuye genocide memorial site consists of a small exhibition which describes the killing, weapons used, and how the attack was conducted.

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