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A Normal Thing to Kill

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A Normal Thing to Kill


Burundi -- History.


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 4048C


video / mp4




Oral History



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Kennedy, Michael


Boyi, Henri


I believe in--in our country, particularly; I would say the same for Rwanda and Zaire. Since we started talking about democratic elections and multiparty systems, we've had ten times more weapons than we had before. Fire weapons, guns. I am sure every single person on the soil of Burundi can easily have three guns or four guns today. There's enough for everybody to have three or four. So again, that's part of what I call external forces that really make or help the problems develop in our region, and particularly in our country. And that's why it is easy for reprisals today. Any Tutsi can be killed; any Hutu can be killed today. Again, the impunity being there, the justice system not doing anything, even those who are very well known--I can tell you, for instance, when you hear of some of these principals who burnt the schoolchildren in the classrooms, and to hear that they are still alive, still there, alive, and some of them not even in jail. It's--again, it's harder to understand than even what happened in reality. And it's even harder, if I can say it that way, to think of any way out in such a situation. I'm not a particularly pessimistic person, but I don't see any way out for our country, and our region in general, to really reestablish any kind of peaceful life in the country or in those countries, again, when nothing is being done. No matter how atrocious the crime is, nothing is being done. The leaders make some—they take some strategies that keep them there, even when they are not doing anything. They talk of reconciliation, just strategies and social practices that can keep them in power. I believe in reconciliation, but the criminals have to be punished. And if they are not punished, then everybody sees that it's a normal thing to kill. And as a matter of fact, it has become--in a country like Burundi, it has become a normal thing to kill, a very normal thing to kill: for a Tutsi to kill a Hutu or a Hutu to kill a Tutsi. We came to that point. Even when the killer is known, nothing is done.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “A Normal Thing to Kill,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed October 22, 2020,