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International Intervention in Burundi

Dublin Core

Title

International Intervention in Burundi

Subject

Burundi -- History.

Description

Oral history video clip featuring Henri Boyi, a Professor at University of Western Ontario. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.

Creator

Media Entertainment, Inc.

Source

Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Publisher

Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.

Date

1999-07-26

Contributor

Boyi, Henri

Relation

G36-00034
Tape number 4047D

Format

video / mp4

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Coverage

Burundi.

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Kennedy, Michael

Interviewee

Boyi, Henri

Transcription

That's a good question, which is quite worrying to me and to a lot of people who are concerned about what's happening in Burundi. The international community didn't do much to prevent what happened in Burundi, as well as they didn't really do much to prevent what happened in Rwanda, even though they knew that things were being prepared by the ruling government. The FRODEBU government, the ruling government, under the newly elected Hutu president, had lots of signs that showed that this was being prepared, this was being planned and organized at all levels throughout the country. And the international community stayed away, even in the middle of all those killings. People talk about close to 100,000 people who were killed, Tutsis who were killed, in the first weeks, really, in the first weeks of the genocide. And the international community was there, and they didn't do anything. Burned into their houses, people being burned in their churches; they were being slaughtered all over. Children and women, old people, people were being slaughtered in hospitals. The international community was there. Burundi has diplomatic representations from many, many countries in the world. They were there, they knew it was happening, but nothing really was done. And worse than all, even the media didn't report this. For some reason, I believe when CNN and other powerful media institutions decide not to talk about something, it doesn't really get recorded internationally. When people talked to the State Department, the White House, that something should be done quickly to prevent what was happening in Burundi, Bill Clinton had just come out of Somalia with no sense of victory at all, and he simply said that he's not going back to Africa. That can explain also why even the genocide in Rwanda, which was reported extensively, nothing happening. And in Burundi, again, I should say that the Belgians and the French, who usually follow closely what happens in Burundi and in the region, they had no interest to intervene either. The Belgians, and particularly the French, had a very strong relationship with the Hutu government in Rwanda, which was supporting the Hutu government in Burundi which was killing the Tutsis. So the Europeans had no interest in intervening; and the Americans, again, had had a very bad experience with Somalia just a couple of months earlier, so they didn't want to intervene. So it was really a shame to see that people were killed on that scale, and no one was talking of intervening. The UN sent a commission a year later, a commission of investigation a year later, and even concluded that there was a genocide organized by the FRODEBU ruling party, but they didn't do anything about it. So I don't want to talk about kind of international conspiracy against the Tutsis, but the indifference was really shameful, when we know that things were being reported about Yugoslavia and other places, and nothing was being done about Burundi.

Original Format

Beta tape

Duration

4:49

Citation

Media Entertainment, Inc., “International Intervention in Burundi,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed October 23, 2019, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/480.

Geolocation