It is believed that about one million people perished in the genocide which took over 100 days in1994 and about seven genocide memorial sites were built to commemorate this dangerous genocide war. Among the renowned genocide sites in Rwanda include;
Murambi Genocide Memorial Site.
Formally it was called Murambi Technical School. It is found in Murambi district in the southern part of Rwanda. In 1994 genocide, it became a massacre site whereby about 15000 thousand individuals died.
The Tutsi tried to hide here, after when they were lured by the bishop and the mayor, that they would be protected by the French troops and most Tutsi ( about 65,000) ran to the technical school on 16th April, and after they had gathered, they were denied food and water supply which made them weak. The Tutsi tried to protect themselves for a few days and on the 21st April, they were overrun by the Hutu where about 45000 Tutsi were killed and some few out of those who managed to escape were killed on the next day from their hiding place in the nearby church.
The French then Dag several pits where they buried the corpses bodies, on which they placed volleyball courts over the mass graves with the aim of hiding what had happened. Since this genocide ended this place was deserted and the natives settled in other places. Several corpses up to date are being preserved and no one is permitted to distract these sites. Due to the fast developing tourism industry in Rwanda, this school has been refurbished and is currently an exhibition.The esteemed tourists will be guided by the survivors who will deeply explain this tragic story.
Although several corpses are still Preserved, no one is allowed to distract these site but also burial rooms are burial rooms have been provided for the tourists to have clear views. One mass grave was dug where the victims were buried.
Gisozi Memorial Site;
This memorial site is found in the province of Gissabo in Kigali district well known for aplace where the most of the Tutsi victims were slautered by the Hutu.
It was formed under the combined efforts of both the Rwanda government under Kigali City Council and the Aegis Trust a United Kingdom based company with an aim of fighting the continued occurrences of such outbreaks.
It is built on a site where almost 300000 people were buried and was opened in 2004,the tenth anniversary after the Rwandan genocide as well as featuring a display house, a library, a cemetery and a photo gallery which intends to provide history about the country and the whole world. The site has also acted as permanent memorial to the victims of genocide and those who grieve for their dear ones. This site has three sections that is; the memorial gardens (where you find the mass graves of the remains of the genocide victims), the children’s education center (educating people around the world on the effect of the genocide), and the Genocide Archive of Rwanda (consisting of a library and all the historical facts and documentations of the genocide).
The collected items at this site include; the oral testimonies collected from different Kigali city quarters, documents, publications, human bones and skulls that have been treated for conservation and weapons used during the genocide like machetes, clubs, swords, etc. Kigali Genocide Memorial also contains objects like rosaries, photographs, identity cards, shoes, clothes and pipes abandoned by victims.
Gisenyi Memorial site;
This was the first site to be established by the help of Ibuka and the Ministry of the Youth, Sports and Culture too .It is located in Gisenyi Peripheries where 12000 corpses were buried, and are believed to have been attained from Nyundo and close localities of Corniche along with the Burial ground of Maddame Carr, an American that managed an orphanage of Imbabazi.
Bisesero memorial site;
Today the site is called the” Hill of Resistance” which emerged as a result of brave resistance exhibited by the Bisesero People against their opponents. This site is located 31km Kibuye town in Karongi district on the lower slopes of Kibuye in western Rwanda and its composed of nine small structures which symbolizes the nine communities which formed the Kibuye region initially. About 30000 Tutsi members were killed in this region after being presented by the French soldiers ,because of their braveness and the opposition they Portrayed. They stood up against the Massacre but due to the weakness of their weapons, most of them were killed by the Hutus.
Namata Memorial Site;
Initially, this site was a catholic church before the genocide in 1994.The site is located in Bugesera region about 35 km from Kigali city. The residents of this place went to the church in search for protection hoping that they would escape death, since it was owned by the priests and the nuns. They thought that this place was a refuge where they thought the Hutus would not reach but this was not the case because about 2500 were killed.
Nyarubuye Memorial Site.
A memorial ritual is conducted in this place each year to commemorate the victims of cold blood murder. This site lost about 35000 Tutsis in only two days and out of these only 18 people survived. It is said that about 2000 Tutsis were killed as they crossed to Tanzania for exile. The remains were reserved and kept in the covent and the place is now renovated, acting as a school, with a number of people.
Ntarama memorial site.
This site is located in Bugesera, 30km from Kigali city .It is believed that about 5000 people composed mostly of women and children who were killed in this church. Most of them ran for refuge with the thought that that it was a sole safe place for protection which later turned out to be a place of brutal killing that most childrens’ heads were smashed onto the walls, and not only were the women killed but sharp sticks were inserted through their vagina and exited their heads. This site was not tempered with after the genocide and today, it acts as display site.