The Gitesi site is located in Western Province. Click on the image for a slideshow of photographs. All photographs 2002-2008 Jens Meierhenrich.

The Gitesi Sector memorial was built in 2007. Prior to the construction, remains were simply kept in plastic bags in the former Gitesi Sector office, which is now an empty, abandoned building. The Karongi district, independent of the central government, decided to erect a more dignified memorial for the skeletal remains. Our guide, a survivor herself, claimed that it took more than a decade to construct the memorial because not only did most of the Tutsi of this area die during the genocide, leaving the bodies with fewer living advocates, but also because the Government’s policy of redistricting apparently made it difficult to determine who was officially responsible for the remains at this site.

A relatively well maintained memorial site, the Sector memorial lies within earshot of the primary school on the adjacent hill. A barbed wire fence protects the mass grave, with its flat stone surface, and a white marker with the inscriptions “Twarabakundaga” (“We Love You”), “Turababura”(“We Lost You”), “Nitiuzabibagirana” (“We Won’t Forget You”).

Copyright © 2010 Jens Meierhenrich. All rights reserved.