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Nyamata and Ntarama Memorial visit

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Nyamata and Ntarama Memorial visit
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Nyamata and Ntarama Memorial visit

The Nyamata and Ntarama Genocide Memorials are situated in Bugesera region approximately 35km from Kigali City. Bugesera is about an hour’s drive south of Kigali.

Nyamata was one of the worst sites of the unfolding of the genocide – the numbers of victims alone are staggering. 10,000 people were murdered inside the church building alone – yet more outside. Like Ntarama, Nyamata lies in a region that had a particularly high proportion of Tutsis amongst the population.  It was also there, on the other hand, that churches did serve as safe havens during the earlier genocidal outbreaks before 1994. This is why so many people crammed into churches all over the country to seek shelter, not knowing that these buildings would turn into death traps this time around. Nyamata became one of the starkest examples of this. The frightened Tutsis who had locked themselves in the church were not to be spared by the Hutu killer hordes.

Ntarama’s former Catholic church is now a memorial site. 5,000 people were massacred there on 15 August 1994 during the Rwanda Genocide. This memorial centre is one of six major centres in Rwanda that commemorate the Rwanda Genocide. This site is of particular national significance and the human remains, clothing and artifacts taken by those killed in the church remain on display at the site. A project to preserve the site in perpetuity is now being undertaken.

Nyamata Genocide memorial site

Nyamata is situated in Bugesera region approximately 35km from the Kigali City in Rwanda. Nyamata and its surrounding region suffered some of the most extensive devastation, horrifying violence that took place in 1994 against the Tutsi and moderate Hutus. The genocide memorial at Nyamata Church gives a deeply saddening and moving look into the reality of the Rwandan Genocide.

When the Genocide began in April of 1994 all residents of the region gathered to sought protection at the local church. They locked the iron door with a padlock to protect themselves from the marauding killers members of the Interahamwe Hutu Militia and the Rwandan Government Forces. The killers broke down the door entered the church with rifles, grenades and machetes massacred all the people who were in the church About 10,000 victims were killed in and around the Catholic Church compound on April 10th 1994 by the Hutu militias.

Duration:8 hours
Commences in:Kigali, Rwanda

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