Genocide memorial site in Rwanda are areas which were established following the mass murders that occurred in the country in 1994 in 100 days when the international community ignored the cries of the local citizens as the majority Hutus unleashed terror on the minority Tutsi and the sympathetic Hutus. The killings were made with Machetes, clubs, axes and any other lethal. About a million people are expected to have perished in the gruesome murders that ravaged the whole country.
There are 200 genocide memorial sites, but currently, there are 7 sites developed for tourism. Some of the developed ones include;
Gisozi Genocide memorial center.
This is the largest and modern of all and is located in the capital Kigali. This was built in 2000 on international standard and is internationally recognized. Over 25000 bodies from all over the country that died as a result of the 1994 genocide were collected and given a descent burial here in mass graves. gesozi genocide – Rwanda
The center is made up of three sections, the largest reflecting on the 1994 genocide, another is a children’s memorial and another section shows genocide around the whole world. An audio is provide explaining the happenings of the genocide and story of what sparked the unforgettable black 100 days. The mass graves are having flower of the beloved family members and friends who come to pay their respects, and one of the graves was provided with a see through glass, exposing a line of caskets inside the grave.
There was an immense influx of people, who visited the centre when it was opened, and until now, many people visit the centre to learn the history of the genocide in Rwanda and relatives come to pay their respects.
Murambi memorial centre.
Murambi memorial is located at a series of hills. This was a formerly a school, where people gathered for shelter during the turbulent period. mirambi genocideThe authorities convinced the people mainly the Tutsis to converge at the school so that they are not killed.
This was a sinister plan to gather then in the same place and starve then so that they are attacked when they are weak. Indeed, this came to pass, as they were attacked with machetes and axes and many were butchered to death. However, this did not all go well as there was some resistance from those who were still strong.
Many tried to escape but were caught and killed where as a few escaped to neighboring DR Congo. Over 27000 people were killed in this place.
The bodies of the people who were buried in the neighboring areas were exhumed and reburied at this same site together with those that had been killed at the school. However, some of the bodies are laid in the classroom blocks and treated with lime, and can be viewed on the desks and benches. A monument has been elected at the site commemorating the genocide since the colonial era up to 1994 genocide.
Nyamata Memorial site
This was a church where people had gathered to seek shelter from the genocide that had swept across the country. Over 2600 people had locked themselves in the church, hoping they would not be attacked. Unfortunately, they never met their expectation as their persecutors attacked them and hacked them to death. Most of the killed were women and children. Most women were first raped before killed gruesomely.nyamata
There is presence of scattered bones and the clothes they were putting on hanging in the church. The place was turned into a genocide memorial site as it reflects how a big number of people met their death in one place, which they believed was a God’s sanctuary and could help them escape death.
Bisesero Genocide memorial
This is located in Kibuye, west of the country. Over 30000 Tutsis were massacred here by the Hutu militias. The people first resisted and there was fierce fighting, but they were overpowered as most of them were already starving and tired, besides, the hutu militias used guns to kill the resistant ones. The place is now also called “Hill of resistance” because of the resistance that was met there. The place has nine buildings representing the nine communities that leaved around the place. Bones of the people killed were collected and treated and can be observed in some of the buildings.
Nyanza Genocide Memorial site.
This is where the United Nations forces were having their base. Many Tutsis sought refugee here expecting protection from these international forces. Unfortunately, after some of the UN officials were killed in the civil strife that had engulfed the country, the UN decided to withdraw their forces and leave the country. This left the Tutsis helpless and over 2500 people were attacked by the Hutu militias and hacked to death. Today, there are wooden crosses dotted all over the place and on the road symbolizing the gruesome death that occurred at this place.
Nyarabuye Genocide memorial site.
This was a school and is located in the Eastern side of Rwanda. Over 20000 people had sought shelter here when they were attacked and killed as they tried to escape to the neighboring Tanzania. Today, the school remains empty, only with desks and scattered bones in the school and classroom blocks.
Ntarama genocide memorial site.
This is was a church, located in Bigesera, an hour’s drive from Kigali capital. Over 5000 people had gathered at this church to seek shelter from the hutu militias who were on rampage hacking to death the Tutsis and hutu sympathizers. The militias attacked them in the church and killed all of them, majority being children and women. Today, the bones of these people remain in the church and their belongings such as suit cases, clothes, toys and other household items can be seen in the church.