RWANDA GENOCIDE MEMORIAL SITES
Rwanda suffered much during the1994 Rwanda genocide where the Hutus and Tutsis killed each other in a broad day light, the economy declined, the population also went down, infrastructures like buildings among other where burnt down and the most painful over 1 million people lost their lives and many fled to other countries to seek an asylum. The war took place for a period of 100 days and this happened after the killing of the president Habyalimana and immediately road brocks, looting and burning started. Within one day over 2000 people are said to be killed. Due to a very big number of deceased it was decided to bury them under the same cemetery and a genocide Memorial Day is celebrated every 15th April each year as a way of remembering those people who were a victim of this horrific war. There about 8 memorial sites recognized in Rwanda and very many tourists who make it to Rwanda can’t fail to visit at least one of these sites to get clear information from the survivors of this dreadful war about how the war started and how they managed to survive the marauding killers. Let us examine them one by one of these memorial sites.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial site:
Kigali genocide memorial site is located in Gisabo District just about 3 kilometers from Kigali Rwanda’s capital city. It’s regarded the most visited memorial site in Rwanda since it is located within the heart of Rwanda, so very many visitors find it very easy to visit either when from the airport or from the many hotels found around Kigali. This genocide was constructed by a joint partnership of the Kigali city council and the UK based sponsorship Trust. Remains of People who were killed from different places like road brocks, cities, churches where gathered and buried under the same graveyard, over 25,000 people are said to be buried here. You will receive hurtful information from the survivors of this war indeed you can’t fail to feel tears coming out of your throats. Bones, skulls where reserved for preservation, weapons used in killings like knife, machetes, and items like rosaries, identity cards, and shoes can still be seen.
Nyamata memorial site:
Nyamata memorial site is located in the Bugesera District south of Rwanda about 30 kilometers from Kigali. It was a church and during the killings, Bishops ordered people to go and hide inside the church thinking protection from the French soldiers, they padlocked themselves inside the church thinking they would not be attacked by the Tutsis , however this did not work the way they expected, they were attacked by the marauding killers who were well equipped and totaling to over 10,000 people were killed within and outside the church compound and they were all buried under the same graveyard of Nyamata memorial site.
Bisesero Memorial site:
This site is now known as a hill of resistance due to the brave resistance the Hutu gave the Intarahamwe soldiers who were the Tutsis. These people hide on the top of the hill which was characterized by very many rocks of which they were used to defend themselves from the marauding killers, however this did not work out for long eventually they were betrayed by the French soldiers who promised them protection if they get out from the hills, when the French soldiers withdrew, they were attacked by the well-equipped intarahamwe soldiers who had guns, machetes, against the week Hutus who used stones, sticks, pang to defend themselves. They were eventually over powered and killed in number. Over 50,000 Tutsis and a few Hutus were killed in this area and their remains were buried under the same cemetery.
Ntarama Memorial site
Over 5000 people were buried under the same graveyard mostly the Tutsis and a few Hutus , and up to now you can still identify people’s ID cards, bones are still merged with bits of clothing wallets among others. People took refuge in the nearby church thinking that the killers will not attack them in the church, however this was not as it was planned, and the killers attacked and killed them most especially women and children. Ntarama Memorial site can be reached out in just an hour drive from the capital city Kigali Rwanda’s capital and its largest city.
Nyarubuye Memorial Site
Nyarubuye Memorial Site is located in Kirehe district in the south east of Rwanda. This was a Covent as well as a school houses nuns and priest. People from different places where called by priests and nuns to come and took refuge in the church and the nearby school, thinking they will be protected by the French soldiers, however the French soldiers withdrawn giving room to the marauding killers who come and slaughter them, over 51,000 people are recorded buried under the same graveyard majorly the Hutus and a few Tutsis. The site which was a church before the killings in 1994 is now a memorial site. However the school was renovated and now it’s operating with very many students. Remains of the victims were reserved for preservation like clothes, thermoses, dishes; ID, wallet and shoes were kept in the convent buildings.
Gisenyi Memorial site
Gisenyi memorial site is situated on the border of Gisenyi area in the North Kivu region on the border of Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s believed that Over 12000 people majorly the Tutsis and a few Hutus from within and in the nearby road blocks were buried under the same cemetery. Gisenyi Memorial site is known as the first Rwanda memorial site to be constructed after the 1994 killings and was built with the help of IBUKA, the genocide survivors’ organization, and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
Murambi Genocide Memorial Site:
At this site only, accounts to over 2700 people were buried here. this was a school which acted as a refugee camp during the killings, as people rushed here thinking that they will be safe, however this did not work out, they were surrounded and killed in such a very big number and it was decided that they should be buried under the same graveyard within this area. Many corpses are still preserved and nobody is allowed to disturb their peace. The school is now used as an exhibition to tourist, and ounce here survivors of this dreadful war provide relative information to visitors about how they survived the killings among other. You can’t fail to feel tears in your throats after hearing such hurtful stories
Nyanza memorial site
This site is Located in Kicukiro, a suburb southeast of the city center towards the airport. Today many travelers, government dignitaries from different countries in Africa and all over the world go to Rwanda to be part of the memorial ceremony in Nyanza on 15 April each year. People were marched from the neighboring school called ETO after realizing that the French soldiers who had promised protection of the people had withdrawn, the marauding killers attacked and slaughter majorly the refugees who were the Tutsis in such a very big number over 5000 people are said to be killed and buried under the same cemetery in Nyanza and this day is still recognized in Rwanda every year as a way of remaining fellow brothers and sisiter who were the victim of the 1994 genocide war.