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Effects of the Burundi Genocide

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Effects of the Burundi Genocide


Genocide -- Burundi.


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.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


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


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




Boyi, Henri


Tape number 4047E


video / mp4




Oral History



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Kennedy, Michael


Boyi, Henri


Yes. The UN took about two years to conclude that there was a genocide in Burundi, and I wonder if it was not genocide to the eyes of anybody, what it was. Again, when you see that a whole race, small in terms of numbers, a small race in the region gets exterminated, completely exterminated in the region, what else could it be? And I'm sure when they saw what happened in Rwanda, which was this time reported--and of course at a larger scale, too, because there were many more people killed in Rwanda. About a million Tutsis were killed in Rwanda. Compared to around 150,000 Tutsis who were killed in Burundi, it looks like it's not--it doesn't look as bad. But it was, for a small country like Burundi, and a population that is supposed to be 14 percent, as they liked to say. Fourteen percent of 6 million, that was, I think, large enough and bad enough to be really called genocide. And again, even when the UN commission concluded that this was genocide, nothing. Nothing at all has been done. No single person has been really punished today. No single person in Burundi has been punished because of having participated in what the UN itself called genocide. Not a single person. Again, here we are facing another tragic dimension of the whole drama, which is impunity. And that is why a lot of Tutsis resorted to reprisals and started killing Hutus, and some innocent Hutus who were on their way and who might not feel like they should be suspected, because they didn't do anything. Some of them get killed, too. So, like we see in other places, in Kosovo and other places, when you see this hatred, this deeply rooted hatred among ethnic groups, there are lots of innocent people who get killed. A lot of innocent people get killed. And of course, these Tutsis who are--some people will talk about the Tutsis being a privileged group. I would challenge anybody who would think that the Tutsi peasants, who are the biggest majority, and who live in villages with their Hutu neighbors, have anything more than their fellow--their neighbors, their Hutu neighbors. This is a country where 70 percent of the population don't have water in their houses, or electricity; where most of those people live on farming or cattle herding. So, when we talk of privileged groups today, I think it's fair to say that this is really a concern of the educated people. It's really--the problem in Burundi, it's ethnic, but it's also very political. It's people who are fighting for political power, the Tutsis and the Hutus who are fighting for political power, who are more interested in eliminating the other to have what they want to have. And I remain convinced that they will not--it's not, say, Hutus once they have killed all the Tutsis. They are not going to promote the lives of all Hutus. I hope that the population will finally understand that this is just being misguided for the interests, for the very selfish interest of the leaders.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “Effects of the Burundi Genocide,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed October 22, 2020,