Mass Graves

Eight mass graves on this site were established shortly after the genocide, when it became apparent that there were hundreds of shallow mass graves around the city. Thousands of unidentified corpses were being discovered with no families to conduct dignified burials. Kigali City Council decided to create a single place of burial where victims could be laid to rest with dignity.

Since the creation of the initial eight mass graves, an additional 3 mass graves have been created and filled with coffins. During the 100 days of Remembrance in 2004, many people took the opportunity to bury their loved ones at the site, turning up in hundreds across weekends and public holidays.

The graves consist of concrete crypts three metres deep, each filled from floor to ceiling with coffins. The coffins rarely contain the remains of an individual victim, and can even contain the remains of up to 50 victims because of the impossibility, in many cases, of ensuring that the remains of individuals are kept intact. Rather, the coffins are symbolic of the dignity that Kigali wishes to afford to its dead.