Ntarama

Memorial Sites

The Genocide Memorial is located about 30 kilometers south of the capital city of Kigali. Located in the Bugesera region, this church and its contents are a reminder of the horrifying violence that took place at this site during the Genocide against the Tutsi of 1994. Each time prior to 1994, when violence against Tutsis had erupted in Rwanda, the pursued could safely seek refuge in any church and find sanctuary. So when the violence broke out again in April 1994, many Tutsis took refuge in churches as their parents and grandparents had before them. This time however, the church did not save them from being slaughtered. The approximately 5,000 people that fled to Ntarama for safety were murdered.

Ntarama Church is now a small memorial, it never returned to being a church. Inside, light filters through holes in the walls of the church made by grenades. Clothing of the victims hang from the rafters and personal belongings including, pens, pots, sleeping mats, glasses and books lay in piles in the front of the church, near the alter. A number of coffins are stacked up in piles in the front of the church. At the doorway, near the back of the church, there's a large table topped with skulls lined up in rows.