Touring The Genocide Memorial Sites of Rwanda : The genocide of Rwanda took place in 1994 and was the result of a planned, systematic attempt by members of the Hutu majority to exterminate the Tutsi minority. During the genocide, nearly a million people were killed in just 100 days. As a result of the tragedy, more than two million Rwandans fled to neighboring countries and began to rebuild their lives. The United Nations has established an official memorial site known as “The Kigali Memorial Centre” which is dedicated to remembering the victims of the genocide and honoring their sacrifices. The site is located in the city of Kigali, which is the capital of Rwanda. Visitors to the site have the opportunity to tour the facility and learn about the tragic events that took place during the genocide of 1994 through different exhibits and displays.
There are several different types of tours available at the facility including self-guided, guided tour, educational tour and nighttime tour which is only available on certain days of the week. The facility is open seven days a week from 7 am until 5 pm with the last admission at 4:30 pm. The tours are generally conducted in English and French although translators may be available on some dates for those who speak other languages. It is advisable to book the tour in advance especially if you are planning to visit on a weekend as there can be a limited number of seats available on some days. The cost of the tour varies depending on the type of tour you choose and the facilities that you include in the package. There is a nominal fee for children under the age of 18 which allows them to participate in the educational tour and other activities at the memorial center.
All members of the memorial center are required to provide valid identification before entering the facility. Most forms of photographic identification are accepted but it is advisable to bring two forms of ID with you in case the first one is not accepted. It is best to wear comfortable clothing for the tour as you will be required to cover your knees and shoulders when you visit certain areas of the memorial center. The lighting throughout the facility is dim so it is recommended to bring a pair of sunglasses or a torchlight if you decide to take a night tour of the facility.
Background Information: Why Visit?
The genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 was one of the most tragic events in recent history. Between April and July 1994, an estimated 800,000 people were killed in a series of mass killings and violence carried out by members of the Hutu majority against the country’s Tutsi minority. In the aftermath of the massacre, many families lost their loved ones and those who survived were deeply traumatized by the events that had taken place. To honor the victims and raise awareness about the Rwanda genocide, the Rwandan government built a memorial center in the capital Kigali to mark the events and pay tribute to those who lost their lives.
The center houses an extensive collection of artifacts and other historical documents that convey the story of the genocide and its aftermath. It also hosts various educational and cultural events that are designed to promote awareness and healing among those affected by the tragedy.