A Genocide is the extermination of an entire population, a whole people disappeared from the world. This is the most cruel human act and keeps repeating in centuries. Rwanda had its most awful genocide in the 1990s, to be exact from April to July 1994. Troubles had already started at the beginning of the decade, but they seemed to be under control. Though the shooting down of the Presidential Airplane which caused the death of hutu tribe president Habyarimana lit the fire. Over half a million people were killed in just a 4 months period.
About the Rwandan Genocide
Today, Kigali and Rwanda in general use the history of the genocide as a tourist attraction. It may seem cruel and sad, but it helps to never forget. Peopke must not repeat the same tragedy again. The genocide has a long story, as a background. Before the arrival of the Belgian settlers, hutu, tutsi and twa tribes lived in peace. The European rulers, though, created social differences especially between hutu and tutsi which resulted in mutual hate.
Hutu conquered the power in politics, with the help of Belgians, and forced their tutsi rivals to a poor life or to crime. Many people had to leave Rwanda. At the end of the 1980s, a large part of tutsi refugees came back with the aim of taking back power. This started fights and problems, mainly in the country but also at Kigali. In April 1994, the Presidential Airplane crashed after a missile hit it. The hutu people accused the tutsi rebels and the government started the cruel revenge. From April to July 1994, 500.000 people – also women, children, old people – were tortured and killed. Some say the number of victims reaches 850.000.
The Genocide Memorial Museum
In 2000, approaching the 10th anniversary of the terrible Civil War of 1994, the government and Kigali City Council decided to open a museum so to never forget the genocide. A British Foundation was also involved in the building. The Genocide Memorial Museum opened in April 2004. The two-story white building includes: a collection about the history of Rwanda and its tribe, at ground floor; the history of genocide at first floor.
The visit to this museum is very hard. You will see skeletons, bodies, bones, also human remains of children. You will learn about their lives, their daily things, homes and toys. And you will learn about the weapons that killed them, how they killed them. Sometimes, their last words are also reported! The Memorial Museum includes gardens, educational labs and a cemetery.
In order to visit the Genocide Memorial Museum you must contact the official web site for tickets. The museum is open everyday, 8am to 5pm. The museum is at KG 14 Avenue, Kigali.
The sad Genocide itinerary
Besides the main Memorial Museum in Kigali, there are other places that celebrate the memory of the genocide. You can plan a historic itinerary in order to better learn about this Rwandan tragedy. Other museum dedicated to the Genocide are in Murambi, Nyamata, Nyarubuye. You could also visit Bisesero Genocide Memorial and Nitarama Memorial Centre.