The 8 Genocide Memorial sites in Rwanda were put in place in remembrance of occurrence of the dangerous 1994 Genocide tragedy in the country. More than a Million people were massacred in only 100 days. The Major gazetted Genocide sites in Rwanda include:
Murambi Genocide Memorial site:
Almost 27,000 people were recorded killed from this school. Ever since the Genocide of 1994, the place has been left vacant and no one lives in it. There are hundreds of corpses which are temporarily preserved from this school and are currently displayed with out being touched by any one. Due to the tourism development in the country, the school has been now permanently developed as an exhibition where visitors come and get information about the 1994 Genocide. Besides the corpses being displayed, there are also burial rooms where some preserved corpses can be seen by tourists while at the same time being buried with dignity. Once you reach the site, the guides who will take you around are survivors of the genocide but were trained to become guides. After the genocide, many graves were discovered from different places around the country and it was decided that a single burial place should be created so as to make sure that victims are laid to rest with dignity.
Gisozi Memorial site
This site is found in Gasabo District with in Kigali city. Here is where most of the Tutsi victims were killed by the Hutus during the Genocide and were recently buried in the same place in 2000. Gisozi site was opened for tourism in 2004 and almost the remains of 300,000 people are buried. The Gisozi Memorial site has a cemetery, an exhibition house, a library, photo gallery where families of the victims pin pictures of their loved ones who died during the 1994 Genocide. More still, the site also has a future plan of teaching the History of the 1994 Genocide to the rest of the world.
Gisenyi Memorial site
Gisenyi memorial site is located in outskirts of Gisenyi. It contains the remains of almost 12,000 people who were killed during the 1994 genocide. This was one of the first memorial sites in the county to be built with the help of “Ibuka” which is a genocide Survivor’s organization, the ministry of youth, sports and culture. The people who were killed from here were brought from a particularly dangerous roadblock called “Corniche” as well as the nearby locality of Nyundo. The site also has the grave of Madame Carr, who was an American who ran an orphanage for the genocide orphans called Imbabazi.
Nyamata memorial site
This Genocide memorial site is located in Bugesera district. Originally before the genocide, it was a church and during the Genocide, almost 25000 people were killed from this church and had come to seek refugee from it. It is about 35 kms away from Kigali City. The church is still in existence as a reminder of the horrifying violence of the 1994 Genocide.
Bisesero Memorial site
The genocide site is located Karongi district in the hills of Kibuye province of West Rwanda. It is believed that almost 30,000 people were killed from this place. They were killed after a brave and long resistance and self defense until when they were betrayed by the French soldiers. This place was a base to the Tutsis who tried to organize them selves and go against the Massacre. Due to the weak fighting weapons such as sticks against the Hutus strong weapons like pangas, knives, Axes and so on, their resistance did not last long and they were killed. Bisesero Memorial site has 9 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 assassins
Nyarubuye Memorial Site
This was a convent and a school where almost 20,000 people were killed and buried. Those who were killed from this place were the Tutsis who were trying to escape over the border to Tanzania. The convent is full of bones for remembrance where as the school premises were cleared in 2003 and now students can study from the classrooms.
Nyanza Memorial Site
At the school of ETO in Nyanza, there was the United Nations Peace Keeping force which provided security to Rwandan people before the Genocide started. However, once the Genocide began, the UN withdrawn from providing peace to the people of Rwanda and once this happened, all the people who had taken refuge at the school were killed due to loss of support of the UN. Most of the people who had seek refuge at the school were Tutsis. When the Hutus arrived at the school, they were matched out from the school to Nyanza where they were all butchered. Each year on April 11th, a memorial ceremony takes place on the site to remember the deserted refugees who were murdered in cold blood.
Ntarama Memorial site
The memorial site is found 30KMs away from Kigali city in Bugesera. It is about 1 hours drive from Kigali city. This was a church where almost 5,000 people were killed during the genocide of 1994. Like in Nyamata, most of the people who were killed from this church saw it as a safe place and so they had come to seek refugee from it. The majority were women and children. The church has not yet been cleaned since 1994 and there are bones intermingled with bits of clothes, pots, shoes, ID’s, children’s wear, suite cases and white stockings for school children.