Genocide Sites In Rwanda
What took place around 1994 in Rwanda will always remain a very regrettable event in life. It was at a time that a civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis occurred and claimed nearly a million lives within just 100 days while thousands were left homeless and sought refuge in nearby countries. Today, there are many genocide sites that serve as a reminder of such a terrific event of time and indeed appeal that never should it happen again in Rwanda or elsewhere on earth! They feature exhibits of remains, photos as well as personal belongings of the victims especially their shoes, clothes a mention but a few. These areas are today visited by tourists on Rwanda safaris as well as friends, relatives as a way to remember their beloved ones. About 8 genocide sites are currently found in Rwanda and they include the following;
- Murambi genocide memorial center
This memorial site is a burial center for over 2700 individuals who lost their lives at a time of the horrific events. Ever since this civil war stopped, the area was deserted and natives began living in other places. Many corpses up to now are kept and nobody is allowed to distract these centers. Because of Rwanda’s booming tourism sector, this school has been refurbished and today serves as an exhibition site. For visitors who have paid a visit to this place are also get free information pertaining to the intriguing history of this nation. Besides the exhibits of corpses, you will find the kept burial rooms. While here, you will be taken around by some of the survivors who will then tell you what occurred at a time. In this area, one mass grave was dug to give a decent burial for the victims. This site lies within the grounds of a former Murambi technical school just close to Murambi town.
- Kigali genocide memorial site
Perhaps this is the most explored Rwanda genocide memorial site given its close location to Kigali city center. It is a 10-minute drive away and lies within Gisozi. This site is where 250000 victims were buried and displays the skulls, photos, and many other things. While outside this site you will find a garden and various mass graves where tourists, survivors, and relatives pay a visit.
- Nyamata memorial site
This genocide memorial site is located within a former church about 30 kilometers’ drive south of Kigali in Bugesera. About 25000 victims were buried in this place making it a few dark sites in the land of thousand of hills. It is here that most Tutsis gathered thinking that it was a very safe area as churches were looked at as safe areas. Unfortunately, this became the main death trap for them and they locked themselves here and the Hutu militias forced themselves in using grenades and reigned on them using machetes. At this place, you will find national IDs, the clothes of the victims, and many other exhibits.
- Nyanza Genocide memorial site
Nyanza Genocide museum is located within Kigali Ecole Technique Officielle in Kicukiro district in Kigali city. The annual genocide anniversary celebrations that take place each year in April in Rwanda take place here. About 10,000 victims that were left by the Belgian UN peacekeeping forces were buried here.
- Bisesero site
Located 1-hour drive off Kibuye and about 40,000 victims were buried here. The site tells a story of resistance the Tutsis posed against the Hutus in Bisesero hill.
- Ntarama genocide site
This memorial center is about 1hour drive off Kigali and this serves as a former catholic church with over 5,000 victims that were killed here. It is smaller than other church sites. The Tutsis came to this area to seek refuge thinking that it was a safer area but to their surprise, they were attacked by Hutus.
- Nyarubuye genocide memorial site
This memorial site is situated 140 kilometers off Kigali and it is where over 2000 genocide victims were buried. It is believed that Sylvester Gacumbitsi, the Mayor of the district at a time got involved in the distribution of arms and encouraged the Hutus to use rape and later maim and murder the Tutsis. Compared to Ntarama and Nyamata centers, the Nyarubuye genocide site was restored into a church and currently, it is used by people in this area with the memorial site just around it.
- Gisenyi genocide site
This memorial center is located within the Gisenyi area with over 12,000 remains of victims who were murdered at a time. This features the first genocide memorial center to be established with the help of Ibuka. In addition, the ministry of youth, sports, and culture also contributed significantly. The bodies of the victims were laid to rest at this site after they were got from Nyundo and the nearby Corniche.
In conclusion, if you love dark tourism then Rwanda is that one destination you need not miss to pay a visit. With the above genocide sites, you have the opportunity to discover more about the 1994 Rwanda genocide while on your gorilla holiday in Rwanda.