RWANDA GENOCIDE MEMORIAL SITES

During the 1994 Rwanda was known as a slaughtering place where the Hutus and the Tutsis where killing each other in a broad day light, looting, burning, and roadblocks where the order of the day, the war happened after the killing of Habyalimana an estimated one million Rwandans were killed for only a period of 100 days and many fled to neighboring countries to seek a asylum, comprising as much as 20% of the country’s total population and 70% of the Tutsi then living in Rwanda and many were left injured. Many Tutsi and minority Hutus where buried under the same graveyard these genocide memorial sites where built in various places as a remembrance of this hazardous Genocide war. A genocide Memorial Day is celebrated every 15th April as a way of remembering fellow brothers and sisters who where a victim of this horrific war. There are about 8 memorial sites to mention them include,

The Kigali Genocide Memorial site: Over 258,000 people who where gathered from different places were made to rest under this same graveyard which is located just 3 kilometers from Kigali Rwanda’s capital and it’s largest city. It is located in Gisabo district and it was created by a joint partnership of the Kigali city council and the UK based sponsorship Trust. Due to it’s proximity it’s very difficult for tourist to leave with out visiting this memorial site and it’s ranked one of the top most visited site in Rwanda and a fee is charged for a visit. While at the site information is given to you by the survivors of this dreadful war about how it got started. The site contains human bones, and skulls, weapons used during the genocide like knife, clubs swords etc. it also contains objects like rosaries since many where killed in churches, identity cards, shoes and clothes. For real you can’t fail to feel tears coming from your throat, as you watch people’s bones laid down on the floor.

Nyamata memorial site: According to testimonies given out the survivors of this horrific war over 10,000 people were murdered in and around the area of the Catholic Church. Prior to the genocide, this was a church and many people went in to hind from these marauding killers however it did not work out and many killed within the church. they expected protection from the French troops after being sent by the mayors and Bishops to hide them selves from the church, they locked in them self in the church with padlocks to protect them selves, however they where over powered and latter killed by Tutsis in such a very big number. It was decided to burry them under the same cemetery in order to make them rest with pride. This site is located in the Bugesera District in a drive of just about 35kms from Kigali Rwanda’s capital

Bisesero Memorial site: At this site account to over thirty thousand people where buried under the same cemetery as a result of the genocide. They were killed after a long resistance and self protection; however they were betrayed by the French soldier. The Hutus tried to resist from the marauding killers due to the fact that they were fighting using weak weapons such as knife, pang sticks against the well armed and trained soldiers this resulted into such a big number of deaths. The place where the memorial has been constructed is now called “Hill of Resistance because of the brave resistance mounted by the people of Bisesero against their assassins. The site is located in Karongi district on the lower slopes of Kibuye region in western Rwanda.

Ntarama Memorial site; Most of the 1994 Rwanda genocide happened here in Bigesera, the site can be reached in just about 30 kilometers from south of Kigali Rwanda’s capital and it’s largest city. Over 5000 people were murdered within and out side the church since most of the people had gone to seek refuge to the church thinking that it was a safe place, however this did not work out, and they were attacked and killed in such a huge number mostly women and children. It was decided to burry them under the same graveyard. The floor of the Church at Ntarama has not been totally cleaned up since the slaughter as you can still find more bones; merge with bits of clothing, shoes, pots, wallets, ID cards and many more. You can easily recognize parts of skeletons: vertebrae, mandibles, fibulas, and ribs. This church was not tampered with and today it is a display site.

Nyarubuye Memorial Site; here account to over twenty thousand people were killed and buried here. The site was recognized as a Covent as well as a school. Many Tutsis were slaughtered as they tried to escape to Tanzania. However the school was renovated and now it’s operating with very many students and the remains of the dead where reserved in the Covent

Gisenyi Memorial site; This was a first memorial site to be recognized in Rwanda following the 1994 genocide and with in here approximately 12000 people were killed here majorly the Tutsis and few Hutus. Madame Carr’s grave is as well found in this area; she was an American who managed the Imbabazi orphanage. The site was constructed under the partnership of Ibuka, The ministry of youth, sports & culture in addition made a very great contribution. Remains of the victims were buried under the same cemetery as a remind of such horrific terror

Murambi Genocide Memorial Site; It’s acknowledged that over 2700 individuals were slaughtered at this school and these were majorly the Tutsis and few Hutus. They were slaughtered as they tried to hide from the church thinking protection fro the French soldiers, however this did not work out resulting into such a very big number of death. Several corpses up to date are being preserved and no one is allowed to distract these sites. You will be guided around by some of the survivors of this historical killing who will narrate to you their disheartening experience, indeed you can’t fail to shed blood

Nyanza memorial site; This site is Located in Kicukiro, a suburb southeast of the city centre towards the airport. many people were killed in this school over 5000 individual, the school was governed by the United Nations (UN) who had come to provide security to the Rwandans before the genocide, however when the war started the UN official went back home leaving many Tutsis who had come to seek refuge from this school Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO) in danger, they were unprotected hence making it very difficult to escape from the marauding angry killers the Hutu who were equipped. Each year on 11th April, a memorial ritual is conducted to remember the victims of this cold blood murder