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Never Forget | The Rwanda Kigali Genocide Memorial

Half-a-million people were murdered and buried Kigali Genocide Memorial

Quarter-a-million people were murdered and buried Kigali Genocide Memorial

The 1994 Rwanda Genocide against the Tutsi, over a million people were killed and the Kigali Genocide Memorial was created in April 2004 as the final resting place in mass graves for more than 250,000 victims.

In 1999, the capital city of Kigali Rwanda provided land where a place of remembrance could be built and where victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi could receive a dignified burial. Construction of the Kigali Genocide Memorial began in the same year and the process of burying victims began in 2001. Today the memorial serves as the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the genocide. The memorial opened in April 2004, the tenth commemoration of the genocide.
Kigali Genocide Memorial was created in April 2004 as the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims
Kigali Genocide Memorial was created in April 2004 as the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims
The Kigali Genocide Memorial includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. There is also a children’s memorial and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world.

The first part of this exhibition gives an outline of Rwandan society before colonization, including the unifying features and the harmony that existed before colonization as well as a flavor of the hardships of everyday life. The second part details the planned nature and horror of the Genocide against the Tutsi, as well as stories of survival, rescue and from those who stopped the slaughter. The first part of this section details the post-genocide reconstruction that has taken place in Rwanda and how justice and compromise has been fostered.

The second exhibition is called ‘Wasted Lives’ because some of the massacres documented there have not been recognized as genocide by international law. The atrocities examined include Namibia, Armenia, Cambodia and the Balkans as well as the Holocaust.

The Children’s Room is the third exhibition and is dedicated to the memory of children killed in the Genocide against the Tutsi. This section shows how a generation’s dreams were stolen by genocide and remember the thousands of children and infants massacred.

There is also a mobile exhibition, debate and dialogue workshops that use storytelling to share how the Genocide against the Tutsi. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is funded and managed by Aegis Trust on behalf of the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide.

Did you know?
Tutsi rebels continue to fight waging guerrilla battles in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, the ethnic strife that sparked the slaughters in Rwanda and Burundi continue in the regions.

Hutus first settled in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa between five hundred and one thousand BC and were an agricultural people who lived in large family groups. The Tutsis were a nomadic people who began arriving in the Great Lakes region from Ethiopia some four hundred years ago. Eventually, the Tutsis settled amongst the Hutus adopting the languages, beliefs, and customs.

Colonial rule, which began in the late 19th Century, did little to bring the groups together. The Belgians, who ruled what would later become Rwanda and Burundi, forced Hutus and Tutsis to carry ethnic identity cards. The colonial administrators further exacerbated divisions by only allowed Tutsis to attain higher education and hold positions of power.

However, economic differences between the groups soon began to form. The Tutsis as cattle-herders were often in a position of economic dominance to the farming Hutus and in many areas, like Rwanda, the minority Tutsis ruled the Hutus. The only difference between the two groups was economic, rather than ethnic.

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