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Rwanda Genocide Memorial Sites

The Genocide Memorial sites are majorly 8 and were all put in place as a remembrance of the 1994 Genocide that claimed the lives of more than 1,000,000 people in 100 days.

Murambi Genocide Memorial Site

Here, almost 27000 people were massacred. This was a school before the Genocide took place. This place has been left vacant since 1994. Under this stark and shocking Monument, hundreds of corpses are temporarily preserved and currently displayed in the school without being touched after the Genocide. Now it has been permanently developed as an exhibition where visitors can come and get information about the genocide from the Survivors who were trained as guides to tell their stories of how they survived the Genocide. There are also burial rooms which allow preserved human remains to be seen by visitors while at the same time, they are buried with dignity. 

Gisenyi Memorial site

This is found in the outskirts of Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu. This site has the remains of almost 12000 people killed during the genocide. This was one of the first memorial sites in the county to be built with the help of Ibuka, the genocide Survivor’s organization, the ministry of youth, sports and culture. During the Genocide, people were brought from a particular dangerous Road block called “Corniche” as well as the nearby locality of Nyundo to be killed from this place.

Bisesero Memorial site

This is located in the hills of Kibuye province of West Rwanda in the district of Karongi. Almost 30,000 people were killed from this place. This area was well known for resistance as it provided a base to the Tutsis who tried to organize themselves and go against the Massacre of the Hutus. However, these Tutsis had poor fighting weapons like sticks against strong and well trained soldiers of the Hutu, their resistance was un successful and hence were killed after the betrayal from the French soldiers who directed the Hutus to their hide out. The memorial site is composed of nine small buildings which represent the nine communes that formerly made up the province of Kibuye. The site is now called the Hill of Resistance because of the heroic resistance mounted by the people of Bisesero against their Hutu assassins.

Gisozi Memorial site

This is found in Gasabo District in Kigali city and is the nearest among all to the country’s capital city. This is where most of the people (Tutsi) were killed during the Genocide of 1994 and were later buried in this place in 2000. The site was opened for tourism in 2004 and almost 300,000 people are buried in the place. The site has a cemetery, an exhibition house, a library and plan of teaching the history of the genocide to the rest of the world. There is also a photo gallery where the families of victims come to pin pictures of their loved ones whom they lost during the Genocide.

Nyamata memorial site

This Genocide Memorial site is located in Bugesera district. It was a church where almost 25000 people were killed. People who were killed from here were those ones who used the Catholic Church as their refugee and hide out from their assassins. The church is still in existence and it is a reminder of the horrifying violence that took place during the 1994 Genocide.

Nyanza Memorial Site

There was a school called ETO and was under United Nations Peace keeping force. However, when the 1994 genocide started, the UN withdrawn from providing peace to Rwandan people and because of this, all the people who had taken refugee at the school were killed after losing the support of the UN. Most of the people who had seeked refugee at the school were Tutsis and all were matched out from the school to Nyanza where they were all butchered by the Hutus. Each year on April 11th, a memorial ceremony takes place on the site where the deserted refugees were murdered in cold blood.

Nyarubuye Memorial Site

This was a convent and a school where almost 20000 people were killed. The Tutsis were trying to escape over the border to Tanzania to save their lives. The convent is full of bones of the people who were killed from there while trying to escape to Tanzania. However in 2003, the school premises were cleared and now students can study from the classrooms.

Ntarama Memorial site

This is located almost 30KMs away from Kigali town in Bugesera. It is about one hour’s drive from the city center. The killings happened in the Ntarama church and almost 5000 people lost their lives. All the people who saw the church as a safe place ran for refugee within the church and most of them were women and children. The floor of the Church at Ntarama has not been completely cleaned since the massacre. There are more bones, intermingled with bits of clothing, shoes, pots, wallets, ID cards, children’s wear like the white sock and suite cases.