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The Tragedy of Genocide

Dublin Core


The Tragedy of Genocide


Genocide -- Burundi.
Burundi -- History -- Civil War, 1993-2005.


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 4047F


video / mp4




Oral History



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Kennedy, Michael


Boyi, Henri


The same leaders, for instance, when--again, when the president, the Hutu president, was killed, the same leaders, the ministers in the government who went on the radio and called upon Hutus to kill all Tutsis, to revenge against the Hutus president who was killed. Small children in elementary schools were being slaughtered, being told that they had killed the president. Those kids didn't even know who the president was, and they didn't even know if that president was Hutu or Tutsi. So. you can see that all pretexts can be good for those, really, who are greedy for power to do anything to remain in power. And again, it was--the most tragic thing for me was to hear that the Hutu neighbors of Tutsis who had shared everything--in Burundi you share food with your neighbor, you share drinks with your neighbor, you share salt, you share sugar with your neighbor. And when you hear that the neighbors just went in the most unexpected way started killing their Tutsi neighbors, principals going into their schools as principals, going into schools and selecting Tutsi children and putting them in the classrooms and setting it on fire, that's beyond any human understanding. It's genocide, but it's more than genocide, if anything can be more than genocide, if anything can be worse than genocide. And it's hard for me or for anybody to really say--to call it another name, and to justify, to find any reason why a human being can do that. At a large scale, women who are pregnant were first opened: their wombs were opened. How can you believe that for any reason, political or whatever, somebody can dare do that to another human being? Women would grind babies in mortars. How can we explain that? Sometimes people have asked me, "Why do you think that happened?" I think it's a question that no one can answer. Killing the president--presidents have been killed, when J.F. Kennedy was killed. There was no genocide in the country when the prime minister of India was killed. It happens--when Anwar Sadat was killed. Presidents get killed. But that cannot be a reason to kill babies, saying that those babies killed the president. Even though, as it has been established, Tutsi soldiers may have killed the president, and the soldiers have their own political ambitions, too. There have been lots of military coups in Burundi, at least four of them.

Original Format

Beta tape




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