RWANDA GENOCIDE MEMORIAL SITES
There are 8 Rwanda genocide memorial sites put up in commemoration of the 1994 Genocide that that claimed nearly one million lives in about three months.
1. Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site.
Gisozi Genocide spot is where over 300,000 people mostly Tutsis were put to death and are buried here. Found in the Gasabo District in Kigali city, the victims’ remains were buried here in 2000 and the place was elevated to a tourist attraction status in 2004. At the site, there is a cemetery, an exhibition house, a library and a genocide history teaching plan for the rest of the world. It also has a photo gallery where the families of victims pin pictures of their much-loved ones.
2. Gisenyi Memorial Sit
This one is on the outskirts of Gisenyi and it’s where the remains of about 12,000 people are conserved. Among the first memorial sites in the county, Gisenyi Memorial site was built by the genocide Survivor’s organization (Ibuka) and the ministry of youth, sports and culture. The people, who were killed from here, were brought from mainly risky barricades called “Corniche” as well as the close by areas of Nyundo.
3. Murambi Genocide Memorial Site
This place was initially a school where about 27,000 people were chopped to death and the place lies vacant since 1994. It is a bare and an appalling memorial where hundreds of corpses are momentarily preserved and at present displayed in the school without being touched after the Genocide. It has been enduringly developed as a display where visitors get to know about the holocaust. It has burial rooms which allow some preserved human remains to be visible to guests while at the same time, they are covered with dignity. Most of the guides here at the site are the survivors of the genocide who were trained as Guides of the site. These guides offer first-hand information about genocide that they witnessed themselves. Following the genocide, many graves were discovered from various places around the city and it was resolved that a distinct entombment should be set up to ensure that victims are laid to have a rest with dignity.
4. Ntarama Memorial Site
Located 30kms from Kigali town in the area of Bugesera, the victims of this genocide site numbering about 5,000 mainly women and children were killed in the Ntarama church, which they considered earlier as a secure place. The Ntarama Church floor has not been wholly cleaned since the 1994 bloodbath as human bones, blend together with clothing materials, shoes, pots, wallets, ID cards, children’s wear and suite cases are vividly there.
5. Bisesero Memorial Site
Bisesero genocide site is found in the hills of Kibuye province in Western Rwanda in Karongi district and its where roughly 30,000 people were massacred. The memorial site is a set of 9 small buildings which symbolize the nine group-homes that formerly made up Kibuye province. The site is called the Hill of Resistance because of the brave confrontation staged by the people of Bisesero against their killers. Kibuye province was distinguished for resistance by Tutsis to against the devilish mass murder. But due to their weaker weapons like sticks against strong and well trained soldiers of the Hutu and the betrayal by the foreign powers, they were later overpowered and killed.
6. Nyamata memorial Site
Located in Bugesera district, Nyamata Memorial was a church where roughly 25,000 people were put to death. Positioned about 35 Kms from the Kigali city, the site victims were those mainly those who took refuge to Catholic Church for their protection but in vain. This existing church is a reminder of the gruesome brutality that occurred at this place during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
7. Nyarubuye Memorial Site
Nyarubuye site is a former convent and a school from where nearly 20,000 Tutsis who were trying to flee over to Tanzania were exterminated. The convent is full of human bones and skulls. Nevertheless in 2003, the school buildings were cleared for students to study.
8. Nyanza Memorial Site
Here at Nyanza, there existed a school named as ETO under the United Nations Peace keeping force safeguard. But, when the genocide kicked off, the UN force withdrew from providing peace and all the people mainly Tutsis who had taken sanctuary at the school were killed. The victims were ordered out of the school to Nyanza and were all massively slaughtered in cold-blood. On April 11th, every year, a commemoration ceremony takes place on the site.