Murambi Genocide Memorial Center, the sight of a former engineering school where 45,000 people were killed in one night.
The slaughter of 45,000 people. It was on 21th April 1994 when it occurred, one day before I was born.
“You can be protected by the French Army if you take refuge in the school on the hill.” People were deceived by the statement of a mayor and a bishop of a church, and 45,000 people, who took refuge there, were slaughtered by radical militias.
From a movie, “Hotel Rwanda”. We can see in this picture an ax, a hatchet or machete, which are what people use in their daily life. We can learn “neighbors killed neighbors”, the peculiar style of the Rwandan genocide, from this picture.
One was killed by an ax, one was killed by a hatchet, one was killed by a machete, and one was killed by a gun. A husband killed his wife, and a wife killed her husband. Neighbors killed neighbors, and neighbors killed neighbors. 21 years and 7 months ago, here where I’m standing, regardless of ages, regardless of sex, a lot of innocent lives disappeared.
In spite of such a beautiful place, in only one night, 45,000 people were…I do not want to believe the fact if possible.
After the astorocity, dead bodies were put in a hole (mass grave) as the picture shows. It is said that uncountable so many dead bodies and their belongings were found from here.
Inside the building, there were mummified and skeletonized dead bodies in an offhand manner. A dead body with a cracked skull, a dead body of a mother holding a baby, a dead body with limbs cut, a dead body of a child with a mouth shouting something. There were not good smell of dead bodies drafting which I’ve never experienced in my life. I touched the bodies, but they were too cold for me to regard them as human bodies.
‘Still now, there are genocide going on around the world. Right now at this moment, so many people are being brought to an absurd death.’ I questioned. The staff there, who was 16 years old then, answered, ‘The world did not learn anything at all.’
With a staff who guided me. I was saddened by his sighs which he gave every time after finished talking.
Today, children are laughing at the killing spot. How did the world change 22 years after the Rwandan genocide?
Even today, we, living in a developed country, do nothing but say “oh my god, that’s horrible.” to wars or poverty around the world projected on TV, and continue our dinner, don’t we?
How do they accept the “tragedy” which had happened before they were born?
How much did they feel feared? How much did they feel sad? How much did they feel frustrated? Even if we could imagine the situation then, it would be too much difficult to imagine their feelings deeply inside the memory.
This world is absurd. The value of a life depends on where you were born. Facing this reality, what should we think now?