GISOZI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL MUSEUM
GISOZI/ KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL MUSEUM- A MUST VISIT
Gisozi Genocide Memorial site is also known as Kigali Genocide memorial museum. It is located in Gisozi, one of the districts making Kigali city. It is 5 minutes drive from Kigali Airport thus found in the heart of the city. It was opened in April 2004 to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.
The remains of around 258,000 people have been gathered from different districts of Kigali were buried in the cemetery of this memorial site. The operation of burying the victims’ corpses that have been found all over the city in ditches and toilets are still going on. Since 2000, Kigali City began the treatment of different objects which could serve as material proof of the genocide. Materials like clothes, bones, and some Weapons that were used during the genocide are found here.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial contains oral testimonies collected from different Kigali city quarters, documents, publications, human bones and skulls that have been treated for conservation and weapons used during the genocide like machetes, clubs, swords, etc. Kigali Genocide Memorial also contains objects like rosaries, photographs, identity cards, shoes, clothes and pipes abandoned by victims.
Gisozi genocide memorial site includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents of the genocide in 1994. There is also a children’s memorial, and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The Education Centre, Memorial Gardens and National Documentation Centre of the Genocide all contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and form a powerful educational tool for the next generation. In 2000, the Kigali City Council began to construct the shell of a building, which was eventually to become the Memorial Centre.
Aegis was invited to turn the aspiration for a centre into a reality. The Aegis Trust then began to collect data from across the world to create the three graphical exhibits. The text for all three exhibitions was printed in three languages, designed in the UK at the Aegis head office by their design team, and shipped to Rwanda to be installed.
The Kigali Memorial Centre is an international centre. It deals with a topic of international importance, with far-reaching significance, and is designed to engage and challenge an international visitor base. The response from genocide survivors to the creation of the Centre was unpredicted. In the first week, over 1,500 survivors visited each day.
A point to note is that, 99% of tourists to Rwanda find it hard to leave the country with out visit the Gisozi genocide memorial- it is strategically located few minutes drive to Kigali International Airport. It is convenient and visitors from Volcanoes National park, Akagera National park, Nyungwe forest National park or from other tourist destination find it easy to briefly visit Gisozi genocide memorial site before catching their flights back home.