Memorial sites in Rwanda
Memorial sites in Rwanda: There are several memorial sites found in Rwanda the landlocked country and a country of several hills but today I want to talk about the most visited sites in Rwanda and hopefully, visitors on Rwanda tours should never miss them out for historical moments and most of these are the Rwanda Genocide memorial sites as discussed below ;
Rwanda Genocide Memorial sites
The moment the word Genocide is mentioned, tears fall off from the eyes of the Rwandese due to the fact that it reminds them about the lives of about a million people who brutally lost their lives in the 1994 Genocide that lasted for about 100 days. In order to commemorate what happened during the war, Rwandan government decided to put in place some memorable sights which later on turned into some of the major attractions in Rwanda as several visitors on a Rwanda tour are really interested in knowing the history about the Genocide including the cause and how it was brought to an end.
Gisenyi Genocide Memorial site
Well, this site is the most visited by visitors and was put in place by the Ibuka. The most unique attraction at this site that makes it more unique than other sites is the fact that it’s on Gisenyi site that the grave of an American lady who founded the Imbabazi Orphanage and also the remains of several Rwandese who were murdered during the Genocide were collected and buried in Gisenyi. This site received several visitors from different corners of the world making it the topmost site visited all year round
Gisozi Genocide Memorial site
Gisozi Memorial site is situated close to Kigali city within the Gasabo district. This site is also more significant in the lives of Rwandese especially the Tutsi due to the fact that several Tutsi were killed by the Hutus and their bodies left here to decompose leaving lots of skeletons but later on, these skeletons were buried and later on the site turned out to be a tourism site were several visitors visit to listen to the stories about the Rwanda Genocide and also have a look at the photo gallery that has lots of photographs about the genocide. There is also a cemetery and a library that are worth a visit during the Rwanda tour.
Murambi Genocide Memorial site
Murambi memorial site is one of the Genocide memorial sites that was put in place in order to remember thousands of Rwandese that were murdered at Murambi memorial school. After the Genocide, all the people that resided in this area evaluated and left it. Currently, the place is used as the exhibition ground where several visitors during a Rwanda tour pass by to learn more about Rwandan history, meet with the genocide survivors for a heartfelt story about genocide and how they managed to escape, and finally have a close look at some of the corpses that are well preserved there.
Ntarama Genocide Memorial site
This site is located in Bugesera which is easily accessed by taking a drive for almost an hour from the city center Kigali. This site was put in place in memory of thousands of Rwandese that were mercilessly killed during the Genocide in the church and up to now, the church was abandoned into a display site for tourism purposes Nyamata Genocide Memorial site.
Situated in Bugesera is a church where over 2000 people tried to hide during the Genocide but unfortunately, the place of worship turned into a butcher as the Tutsi who were hiding here were isolated from the Hutu and then murdered there and thus the site commemorates a lot to the minds of the Rwandese who lost their people during the war.
Nyarubuyu Genocide Memorial site
Nyarubuyu memorial site was put in place in memory of several thousand people that were brutally murdered and buried. The most people killed on this site were the Tutsi who were trying to cross into Tanzania and unfortunately, they couldn’t make it there and their remains were kept at the school which was abandoned for a certain period of time until of recent when it was re-opened again.
Bisesero Genocide Memorial site “the hill of Resistance”
Bisesero site is situated in the Kibuye region which consists of nine communities within Karongi district. In fact, visitors who visit the Bisesero Memorial site are in a position to view the nine structures that are exhibited within the region. In this region, about 30,000 people were murdered after the French soldiers who were protecting the Tutsi that were protesting against the killing in the region decided to hand them over to be murdered. This was really war as the Tutsi tried to resist against the opposition and oppression but ended up shedding blood and losing their lives since their weapons were not strong enough to protect them against the Hutus.
Nyanza Genocide Memorial Site
This memorial site was put in place in memory of the people who were killed from ETO school that was owned by the UN. These people that were killed had come to this place for protection but later on, as the war exploded, the UN officials that were sent to Rwanda for security purposes returned home leaving Rwandese in that area helpless and hence most of them were murdered. Every year on the 11th of April, there is always a ritual carried out at this site in memory of the people that were killed mercilessly.
Rwanda genocide is such a heartbreaking history that will forever run in the minds of the Rwandese especially the Tutsi who were the most killed people during the war by their counterparts the Hutu due to religious, political, tribal and social factors that led to the most of the Tutsi population to lose their lives and others who survived ran to the neighboring countries as refugees. Thus a visit to one, two or all the memorial sites is such a rewarding experience as every site has its own history all regarding the Genocide and it can easily be done while on a Rwanda city tour for maximum sightings with in the capital city of Rwanda including visiting the craft shops, local markets, Ibyiwacu cultural Centre for the traditional entertainment and many more.