Four memorial sites of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda have been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in a historic decision of the 45th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee held today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Since 2012, local communities, national and international experts, and relevant advisory groups, including the ICOMOS evaluation body, have collaborated closely in a meticulous process that has resulted in the Bisesero, Gisozi, Murambi and Nyamata sites being included on the World Heritage List.
In his address, Dr Jean Damascène Bizimana, representing the Rwandan government, noted that the four memorials are the first sites of memory on the African continent to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
He expressed the determination of the Rwandan government to ensure their long-term preservation.
Minister Bizimana 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 7 April as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.