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Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre

Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre Rwanda

Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre is one of the eight main genocide museums in Rwanda set up to commemorate the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre is located in the Nyamagabe District within the Southern Gikorongo Province. The centre, one of the tourist attractions in Rwanda was a site of a massive massacres during the genocide in Rwanda. It is said that when the murders began, the Tutsis in the region attempted to take refuge in the local church. But the bishop and mayor ensnared them into a trick by sending them to a technical school on a claim that the French troops would provide them with security from there. Incidentally, on April 16, 1994, an estimated 65,000 Tutsis trekked to the school. Unfortunately, they found no water and no food was given. This was done to make sure that they got hungry, become weak and be easily defeated once attached. When the attackers confronted them, they tried to resist but in vain due to hunger. After defending themselves for some day with the use of stones, the Tutsi were overrun on April 21, 1994. The French soldiers vanished as the school was attacked by Hutu Interahamwe Militiamen. It is said that some 45,000 Tutsi were slaughtered at the school and almost all those that attempted to escape were killed the following day as they took a hide in a proximate church.

According to the information at the memorial centre provided by the guides there, the French later brought in heavy machinery to dig numerous pits where thousands of the Tutsi bodies were buried. The French then put a volleyball court over the mass graves in an endeavor to conceal the massacre evidence. At the memorial centre, the bodies of children and infants are among those displayed for visitors to see. It is said that about 34 people are believed to have survived the massive Murambi massacres.

Murambi Genocide Memorial was established on 21 April 1995 and has 50,000 graves of the holocaust victims. The former school building is currently a genocide museum demonstrating the skeletons as well as mummified bodies of some of the hundreds of people killed in 1994 in of Gikongoro Province. Murambu genocide site is only 30 minutes’ drive from the National Museum of Rwanda in Butare. As a severely shocking memorial, dozens of corpses are transitorily preserved and demonstrated at the place. The memorial has been developed as an enduring exposition to the genocide. It documents from pre-colonial times to the more modern history of the 1994 genocide. The drawing focuses on developing a commemorative plaque from which the school children and local community can gain.

In his study of the Rwandan genocide memorials, Timothy Paul Longman, a professor of political science and international relations at Boston University has a strong view. He argued that even though the bodies on display at Murambi are presented as those of people killed on site, the truth is that they were brought to Murambi from the surrounding areas. He said that those exterminated at Murambi were buried in mass graves on site in 1996.

Related Genocide Memorial Centres in Rwanda 

Apart from Murambi, Rwanda has other genocide memorial centers spread across the different parts of the country starting from Kigali City. The biggest and most visited genocide site is the Kigali Genocide Memorial is one of the major tourist attractions in Kigali.  Others include Ntarama Memorial Centre, Nyamata Genocide Memorial Site, Bisesero Genocide Memorial Centre and Nyarubuye Genocide Centre. The list of genocide memorial sites in Rwanda also has Nyanza Genocide Memorial Centre and the Campaign Against Genocide Museum.

Other Tourist Attractions in Rwanda 

Away from the tourist places that give sad memories of the country’s past, Rwanda has on the other hand got attractions that qualify it among the best safari destinations in East Africa. Rwanda is where the Volcanoes National Park, the habitat to Mountain Gorillas is found and gorilla trekking safaris are the major activities. On the list of tourist site is Nyungwe National Park, the home to chimpanzees and other primate species plus Akagera National Park where one can do wildlife safaris in Rwanda.