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The 1993 Burundi Elections

Dublin Core


The 1993 Burundi Elections


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 4048B


video / mp4




Oral History



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Kennedy, Michael


Boyi, Henri


The spontaneity that made them start killing a couple of hours--started killing everywhere in the country a couple of hours after the president was reported dead--cannot be just natural. But again, it's well documented that they had been--they had been very well prepared. It had been very, very well planned. And again, when some ministers in the country--and those who managed to flee the same night, who managed to flee to Rwanda, used the Rwandan radio to call upon all Hutus to start killing all Tutsis, whenever they see anything that looks like a Tutsi. That showed--you know, again, you wonder why people would just go ahead; but this is, again, three months after the elections which were extremely ethnically divided. And even to me, it's a shame to call those elections democratic elections. They were not. Everybody knows they were not. Hutus and Tutsis know very well that they were not. And I hope that no one would want to repeat those so-called democratic elections the way they were done. If in a country which is, again, historically divided, ethnically speaking, you have Tutsis electing Tutsis only and Hutus electing Hutus only for, again, a country with two major ethnic groups, you can never call that democracy. When people are forced to kill, forced to kill or they get killed by their own people, their own--ethnically speaking, their own people--you cannot call that democracy. In democracy they respect people's will, and every single individual has the right to vote for whoever they think is the right person. But if you vote for the right person and when that right person is not from your ethnic group you get killed for it, I would never call that democracy. It's maybe--sometimes there are some of these institutions that we import without really knowing exactly what they are, and without the will to apply them the way they should be applied. I believe in democracy, but in Burundi or Rwanda or Zaire, talking about that region, and many other African countries, you can see almost all places where we had the so-called democratic elections, people have been just killing one another. It's the same in Sierra Leone today; the same happened in Liberia, and to some extent in Nigeria. And it's hard, it's hard. There might be forces behind the impossibility of democracy in our countries, internal and external forces. When I talk of external forces that make democracy impossible in our countries, for instance, I'm referring to the people who--the industries that sell arms.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “The 1993 Burundi Elections,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed October 22, 2020,