Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Let us never forget. Rwanda, 20 years on

Both South Africa and Rwanda celebrate a 20 year anniversary in 2014.
South Africa looks back at two decades of democracy
And Rwanda relives the terrible massacre 
that saw almost a million people killed in one hundred days.
I visited the capital Kigali in 2013 
and spent an emotional afternoon at the Genocide Museum 


The first few days of my visit were spent at Lake Kivu,
there was just enough time to check into my room at the Kigali Serena,
before heading of to lunch and our afternoon excursion.


My room was on the fourth floor...
this is the view of the lobby from that vantage point...


Back into the Sunday Kigali traffic "chaos"...


This is where I was going to spend the afternoon


This rather unimposing building is the repository of the story of the Rwandian Genocide

This flame only burns for 100 days a year...the exact length of the genocide.
100 days during which 1000000 men, women and children were brutally murdered.


A close-up of the flame...

The sign on the outside wall...

I make no apologies for this out of focus image...
I was crying at the time.
There is a hall dedicated to the stories of just a few of the children who were killed.
Young dreams snuffed out too soon.

Like the killing fields of Cambodia,
skulls play a pivital roll in many of the images from this genocide.
This window was designed by Ardyn Halter,
witht the help of Roman and Aviva Halter.

These graves house just some of the remains...

There are three tiers of graves...many with flowers on them


It was in this quiet and peaceful area that I saught solace and a place to weep.
For all those who have been killed in planned genocide attacks...
and whose lives and dreams were never realised.

For me, these tribute flowers were also for those who died in:
The Holocast. 1939-1945
Cambodia. 1975-1979
The Balkins.1990.
All have their place in the Kigali Memorial Centre

Just some of the names on the Wall of Rememberance.
Whole families were killed and no trace of their existance was left behind.

I imagine that this sign could be erected at any of the museums
or memorials for genocide victims world wide

I originally thought that there were 2500 souls buried here...
then I re-read the figure!

Yellow-billed Kites swooped and glided over the memorial

I watched the sun set thinking of the millions of people who have died,
only because their ethnicity, race, religion or culture
did not meet with the approval of the ruling party of their country.

A view of the city centre from the garden at the Memorial centre.
To the left of the tall building is Hotel Rwanda...

         

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