Murambi Genocide Memorial Site is located in Murambi village, Remera Cell, Gasaka sector, Nyamagabe district in the Southern Province; 126 km from Kigali City and 3.5 km from Nyamagabe town. Before genocide, Murambi was located in Nyamagabe commune in Gikongokoro prefecture which was formed after merging former communes of bufundu, Nyaruguru, Bunyambiriri and Buyenzi in 1963.
This region was characterized by a history of killings and massacres since 1959 mainly in the former Bufundu region when the then prefect Rwasibo Jean Baptiste who led the region under the Belgian authority. With the aid of the Belgian authorities a notorious plan was designed and executed to get rid of Tutsi people in that region. Through the plan, Tutsis were relocated to deserted regions of Kibungo and Bugesera which were a breeding area for Tsetse Flies which killed a large proportion of the population.
Those who managed to survive settled in the area and started to develop it. However, to due the continued history of hatred, Tutsi people in the region were continually targeted during the first and second republics and this killing climaxed during the 1994 genocide.
In 1995, bodies of the victims of genocide against the Tutsi were brought at the center from surrounding areas. Murambi Memorial Center has got a uniqueness in that it has got some bodies of the victims that were not reburied but preserved and kept in areas where those who visit the center can see them.
It has been divided into the following major sections:
· The reception: in this section visitors are taken through the chronology of the history that led to genocide.
· There’s a cemetery where more than 50,000 victims of the genocide were laid to rest.
· There’s also a former technical school that hosts the preserved bodies of the victims that are kept in open space for visitors to witness the scale and nature of the death that the victims experienced. It’s in this school that a large number of victims were killed and close to 1200 bodies were preserved together with artifacts like clothes worn by victims as proof of the genocide that took place in the area.
· There’s also a section consisting of trenches where bodies of the victims were cast after they were murdered and a volleyball pitch where a French flag was raised since the area was near a military camp for French army that was serving under Operation Turquoise and then a Memorial Garden