[PICTURES & VIDEO] Inside Campaign against Genocide Museum

The first room provides a summary of the context of the deployment and engagement of the famous ‘600’ RPA soldiers. All photos by Dan Nsengiyumva

Rwanda on Saturday, July, 4, will mark the 26th anniversary of the Liberation Struggle, which culminated in the stopping of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In honour of the young men and women who undertook the daunting task to liberate the country from the genocide machinery, the Government, among others, opened a museum at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura depicting their bravery and patriotism.

 

Inaugurated in December 2017, the Campaign Against Genocide Museum is located at the same building which was home to the 600 gallant men and women of the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA), who had come to town as part of efforts to implement a transitional unity government under the Arusha Accords.

 

The peace deal collapsed when the government of the time started the Genocide in April 1994, which had claimed the lives of over one million people by the time the RPA stopped the killings in July of that year.

 

When the killings started, the few hundreds of the RPA’s 3rd battalion men and women stationed at the former CND building were forced to immediately undertake a rescue campaign in and around the City of Kigali, many paying the ultimate price. Many lives were saved as a result.  

“The first lesson people should learn from here is the courage and values that characterised the soldiers that stopped the Genocide and liberated the country,” said Medard Bashana, the Manager of the museum.

He praised the bravery and sacrifices of the RPA fighters, saying younger generations have plenty of lessons to learn from them.

“They are our heroes in every sense,” he said, underlining the core values of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (the political organisation that formed the RPA) of patriotism, integrity, valour and selflessness.

He called on particularly young people to visit the museum, adding that it would help them better understand the country’s liberation struggle and how they can play a meaningful role in sustaining the gains of the liberation.

To tour this rich historic site, one needs a national ID, or passport, and to Rwf4,500.

Here, you learn about preparations for the Genocide against the Tutsi by the then regime in Kigali.

A statue of two artillery RPA soldiers engages the enemy at the rooftop of the Parliament Buildings. They were particularly fending off attacks from at Camp GP in Kimihurura.

The 3rd Battalion receives reinforcement on April 11, three days after fighting broke out.

RPA soldiers in action as they overrun Rebero Hill.

RPA soldiers did not only engage the enemy forces but they also undertook risky operations to rescue people around the city.

Taking care of the wounded, including both civilians and combatants.

A statute honouring all the RPA soldiers who died in the liberation war of 1990-1994.

The biggest statue at the Campaign Against Genocide Museum, which embodies the story of the ‘600’ leadership and subsequent triumph of humanity over evil.

The liberation marked the promise of new beginnings, optimism and hope for a bright future for both country and its people.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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