Kigali Memorial Centre
Kigali Memorial Centre information
In the span of 100 days, an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were systematically butchered by the Interahamwe in one of the most savage genocides in history. This memorial honours the 250,000 people buried here in mass graves and tries to explain how it was that the world watched as the genocide unfolded in this tiny, landlocked country.
The informative audio tour (US$15) includes background on the divisive colonial experience in Rwanda and as the visit progresses, the exhibits become steadily more powerful, as you are confronted with the crimes that took place here and moving video testimony from survivors. If you have remained impassionate until this point, you’ll find that it will all catch up with you at the section that remembers the children who fell victim to the killers’ machetes. Life-size photos are accompanied by intimate details about their favourite toys, their last words and the manner in which they were killed.
The memorial concludes with sections on the refugee crisis in the aftermath of the genocide and the search for justice through the international tribunal in Arusha as well as the local gacaca courts (traditional tribunals headed by village elders).
Upstairs is a moving section dedicated to informing visitors about other genocides that have taken place around the world and helps set Rwanda’s nightmare in a historical context. The Kigali Memorial Centre is located in the northern Kisozi district of the capital, which is a short taxi ride from the centre (RFr4000). You can also come here as part of an RDB City Tour.