Camp Kigali Belgian Memorial
Camp Kigali Belgian memorial is the place where ten of the Belgian UN blue beret soldiers were massacred during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the soldiers were deployed to guard the prime ministerUwilingimana Agatha under the command of General Dallaire.
At the beginning of the Rwandan genocide, the presidential guard armed soldiers invaded the home and captured the soldiers disarmed them and took them to camp Kigali where they were brutally murdered; the camp Kigali memorial was established by the Belgian government and opened on the 7th of April 2000.
Today there are ten stone pillars put in place in memory of the ten Belgian soldiers, this soldiers served the command of the United Nations Mission Assistance for Rwanda ( UNAMIR). The palace in which the violence took place was a military camp by that time.
Every pillar represents a soldier and the years they lived, there’s also a building that commemorates the area where some of the Belgians who survived tried to fight back until they were overcome by the Forces Amees Rwandaises (FAR) who consequently sprayed the whole area with bullets making sure every one is dead.
On the 5th of July 2007, Bernard Ntuyahaga was convicted to 25 years of jail by the Belgian jury because he was the army major at that time and was involved in the killing of the Belgian soldiers. Belgian had no choice but to send support to Rwanda because it was its former colonizer.
After the killing of the ten Belgian soldiers their bodies were mutilated and dumped at the morgue of a nearby hospital, the United nations pulled its international peacekeeping forces out of Rwanda while the perpetrators of the genocide achieved their desired goal.
After the United Nations pulled away its forces the country was left to bloodshed leading to the massacre of over 800,000 people, loosing of homes and displacement. There’s a main building you can visit where you will see bullet holes and shells on the holes where the soldiers where gunned down by Hutu rebels.
There are two more rooms with rough overview of genocides in the world history written in English, French and Dutch. The Camp Kigali memorial site is a place where many pay their respect to the courageous Belgian soldiers.
Apart from camp Kigali memorial site there are also other dark tourism sites all over the country like the Kigali genocide memorial center in Gisozi where you will learn a lot about the genocide history of Rwanda and you can also see mass graveyards of 000s of people.
Rwanda is now a peaceful country and with one of the friendliest people in the world, you can visit Rwanda and get immersed in learning their culture and do the famous gorilla trekking activity.
While in Kigali tourists can sleep in hotels like Kigali Marriott hotel, Kigali Serena hotel, Radisson blue Kigali hotel, grand legacy hotel and the Manor hotel to mention a few.
Rwanda can be visited all year round especially if your just exploring the museums and historical places but the best time for other activities like gorilla trekking is in the dry season of June to September and December to February.