The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL
When we speak of violent crimes against humanity, we cannot fail to mention the 1994 Genocide that happened in Rwanda. It was violence that shocked the world just because of hatred among humans. Between April and July in 1994 (100 days), over 800,000 Rwandese were killed and this is one of the most rapid genocide to ever be recorded. The Kigali Genocide Memorial tells a story that is a hard one to tell by the survivors and locals of Rwanda.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is built in Rwanda’s capital-Kigali in Gisozi in the Northwest corner of the city. The center is easily accessed by road from the city center about 10-15 minutes. It is even walkable. At the memorial, about 250,000 remains of the victims of the 100-day terror and other information about the ethnic hatred that led to the mass killing are displayed. Pictures of the deceased that were donated by their families are displayed here.
The Kigali Genocide memorial center was opened on the 10th Commemoration of the genocide in April 2004. The memorial center was a partnership between Rwanda (Kigali City Council) and Aegis Trust. Most sell this place in form of Dark Tourism but I agree this more different from tourism. It is a place of remembrance and visitors who come here, do so to pay respects to the deceased, learn how the genocide happened and as a tourist it won’t give you the emotion similar to the people of Rwanda but insight and information about what happened. Different exhibits and information have carefully been arranged inside the memorial center.
The center has three exhibitions that document the event. Exhibition 1 (The 1994 genocide) gives details of Rwanda before colonization, stories of survival and rescue, and how it came to an end. The second is the “Wasted Lives” Exhibition and the Children’s Room that was put up in memory of the children killed in the Genocide. It shows a generation of stolen dreams from thousands of Rwandese Children. In 2014 an Amphitheatre was inaugurated and it sits 1200 people and it hosts the annual memorial events. Here, every April there is always a light put up in remembrance (Kwibuka).
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a landmark that one visiting Rwanda shouldn’t miss. It is a place that matters for all communities around the world and all it teaches is the need for love and peace in the world.
Note: When Visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial, we recommend dressing respectably even though you are on a holiday because it is a sacred place for Rwandese and respect has to be displayed.