The deadly Rwanda Genocide that took place in 1994 over a course of 100 days claimed an estimated 800,000 t0 one million people who were brutally slaughter by local machetes. Many of the survivors were left homeless, without the necessities of life and to date, some have never been able to locate their relatives again. Today, the country has a number of memorial sites and museums which can be visited on a Safari in Rwanda where the remnants of the 1994 brutality are exhibited.
However the question which everyone asks himself today is: Where was all this Human Slaughter planned?
Just 4 km from the Kigali International Airport and only a couple of meters from the wreckage of the plane in which former president Habyarimana was crushed on the 6th April 1994 is a large house designed with modern architectural a proper illustration if the great wealth there was.
Currently this home serves a national museum which attracts nearly y 400 tourist every day. The large numbers of people that visit this place mainly do so to come see that exact place these heartless people sat as they planned the 1994 genocide
As part of the Rwanda’s healing process for its people, this presidential palace was converted into a museum despite the fact that it brings about sad memories. There are a number of tor guides who will take you through this bitter but amazing tour.
The Ground Floor
Right after the entrance, a turn to the left was the president’s office and to the right the first lady’s office. Outside the president’s offices are a couple of chairs and their his visitors awaited on him.
Still on the ground floor, there is a large family sitting-room that is currently adorned with artifacts, paintings, nice furniture, wood carvings and pictures exhibiting Rwanda’s culture since the 1960s. According to these pictures you will see that in ancient Rwanda, the type of clothes the people wore was determined by their status in the community say: the ruling class, the married, missionaries or the wealthy.
Moving up the stairs to the next floor you will find a couple of other rooms. The stairs were lined with sound sensors.
The First Floor
The master bedroom which was constructed with great security details incorporated within. This bedroom is surrounded by a spacious balcony. Once the sensors in the staircase were turned on, the president would detect how far one was from his bedroom.
There is a 6X6 (6 by 6wooden bed placed next to a costly glass table whose stands are similar to the legs of a huge elephant, though without a mattress.
Its said that this bed was bought for president Pasteur Bizimungu, who served as president from 19th June 1994 right after the genocide until 23rd March 2000 when the current president took over office. This was the last president to stay in this residence.
Because the then ruling president – Habyarimana was a Christian as well as a traditionalist. There is a private chapel still on the second floor where he would pray, but this today remains empty with only a tiny table in the corner which was used as a pulpit. According to the records in the palace, during the 1990 visit by Pope John Paul to Rwanda he led mass in this tiny chapel that accommodates a maximum of twenty people
There is a study room with a green carpet which he occasionally used as a shrine and there he secretly offered his burnt sacrifices the traditional gods.
Its management today
Today the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda is managing this museum and its mandated to protect and preserve Rwanda’s heritage as well as promote knowledge, admiration as well as sustainable use of Rwanda’s resources for the good of the country.
This institution in addition trains the people of Rwanda how to weave beautiful baskets which are exported out of the country, and its through such lessons that the government attains its ultimate goal of rebuilding Rwanda’s image to the rest of the world.
Through these cultural lessons, the minister says, the ultimate purpose is to rebuild the image of the country and the population.
For more information about Rwanda’s Cultural and Historical Past, visit gorillasafarirwanda.com