Murambi Genocide Memorial in Nyamagabe District, Nyamata Genocide Memorial in Bugesera District, Kigali Genocide Memorial in the City of Kigali, and Bisesero Genocide Memorial in Karongi District are now inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The inscription of the four memorial sites of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, as announced on Wednesday, September 20, was lauded by the Rwandan government as a historic decision.
Their inscription was announced during UNESCO’s 45th World Heritage Committee taking place in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.
BREAKING! Just inscribed on the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List: Memorial sites of the Genocide: Nyamata, Murambi, Gisozi and Bisesero, #Rwanda . https://t.co/69Xvi4BtYv #45WHC pic.twitter.com/6CQY9bmknD— UNESCO #Education #Sciences #Culture (@UNESCO) September 20, 2023
“This recognition strengthens the fight against Genocide denial and will serve to educate present and future generations,” Rwanda’s Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement said.
It follows Tuesday’s inscription of Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park, which is the country’s first property to get the UN agency’s coveted World Heritage status.
Since 2012, local communities, national and international experts, and relevant advisory groups, including the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an evaluation body, collaborated closely in a meticulous process that has resulted in the four Genocide memorials being included on the World Heritage List, the Ministry said.
In Riyadh, Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement Jean-Damascène Bizimana noted that the four memorials are the first sites of memory on the African continent to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Bizimana expressed the determination of the Rwandan government to ensure their long-term preservation.
He said: “The historic inscription of the Bisesero, Gisozi, Murambi and Nyamata sites on the World Heritage List increases international visibility, and also honours the memory of the victims they represent throughout the world.
“This recognition strengthens the fight against Genocide denial and will serve to educate present and future generations.”
In 2014, the United Nations Security Council, following the example of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, confirmed that the Genocide committed against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 was a matter of public knowledge that should not be contested.
In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly designated April 7 as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi took more than one million lives in a period of three months.