NYAMAGABE – The number of people, especially local residents, who visit Murambi Genocide Memorial Site has persistently remained low, an official at the memorial has said.
Records at the site indicate that less than 300 people have visited it since the start of the Genocide commemoration period on April 7.
Emmanuel Nshimyimana told The New Times that most of the visitors are Genocide survivors whose relatives and family members are laid to rest at the site.
He added that other categories of people who visit the memorial include; foreign delegations, public institutions, organisations and schools.
“Very few people from the neighbouring area come to visit the memorial,” said Nshimyimana.
“It receives most visitors in June and July when foreigners begin trekking in from Europe and America.”
The Murambi Genocide memorial is one of the five Genocide memorials that were identified by the National Commission against Genocide as national Genocide memorial sites.
Others include; Ntarama, Nyamata and Nyarubuye in the Eastern Province, Bisesero in the Western Province and Gisozi in Kigali City.
The memorial is home to remains of over 50,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
There are also over 10 rooms containing bodies which were preserved in lime as evidence of the crime.
The remains were exhumed from mass graves where they had little or no contact with water but they have deteriorated with time thus necessitating modern scientific methods of conservation.
Recently researchers from the Cranfield Forensic Institute, Cranfield University carried out intensive studies on water levels in the bodies, moisture, temperature, height and weight with the intention of preserving them.
Survivors of Murambi say that Tutsis were lured to gather at the technical school by local leaders where they were promised protection. Thousands left their hiding places and gathered at the school where they were mercilessly killed on the night of April 21.