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Shooting Poverty: Bang for Your Buck
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Shooting Poverty: April 6th
In post-conflict Burundi, one thing remains affordable to all: the grenade. Journalist Teddy Mazina follows the stories behind the headlines of never-ending explosive lethal attacks.
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Directed by Seth Chase. Produced by Lucas Gath, Brice Blondel, and Seth Chase. Executive produced by Oistein Moskvil Thorsen.

Learn about the Control Arms Alliance's campaign for a bulletproof arms trade treaty to save lives and livelihoods. Learn about Oxfam's Shooting Poverty film contest to raise awareness about armed violence around the world. Find out more about the work of Oxfam International.

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Segment 1

TITLE
In Burundi, a grenade costs the same price as a pint of beer.
VOICE
I think that having a weapon by your bedside table is extremely dangerous no matter where you are in the world.
TITLE
Drewstone Productions presents a film by Seth Chase and Brice Blondel
VOICE
When you are angry and you have a weapon, you kill or you wound; if you don't, it ends with an insult or a fight.
TITLE
Shooting Poverty
TITLE
Bang for Your Buck
TITLE
"For a criminal here, grenades are the ideal weapon." -- Teddy Mazina
TEDDY MAZINA [Journalist]
I am called Teddy Mazina, I'm 37 years old. I have spent 12 years in exile in Belgium. Before I left Burundi in 1995 I was a human rights activist. We began a movement for non-violence at the University of Burundi, which ultimately led me to my exile.
TEDDY MAZINA
These peace agreements allowed for a symbolic peace and actually some real relief on the social level. But the presence of violence and weapons among the population remains a disease that takes time to heal and currently there's no cure.
TEDDY MAZINA
Hello, yes, I put the video online. Yes, it's the shooting at the residential neighborhood. Yes, political gathering. OK, I'll keep you posted, thanks.
TEDDY MAZINA
Upon my return, I began "Piga Picha" with some friends. We are an independent media group. I am working so that history is not forgotten and to protect the rights of my fellow countrymen.
TITLE & VOICE
Mouvement pour l'image independante au Burundi: Piga Picha
NINA SHIMIMANA [News anchor]
The presence of illegally obtained arms has completely infiltrated Burundi's social and political life. Grenade attacks have been reported all over the country. More than 100 attacks in the last two months. These attacks are symptoms of a pandemic "small-arms disease." With over 50,000 ex-combatants, in addition to countless grenades available for the price of a beer, it's all too common to see Burundians take the road to violence as a solution to everyday problems. We'll go now to our journalist in the field, Teddy Mazina, who is in "Bujumbura Rural," where just last night, a grenade was thrown in a private residence, in Ruziba.
TEDDY MAZINA
For a criminal here, the grenade is the ideal weapon, because it can kill or injure multiple people at the same time. Last night, in the small house behind me, a grenade was thrown through the window injuring two people. The man and his wife are now receiving treatment at Rumonge Hospital and the criminal is still at large.
TEDDY MAZINA
The flood of weapons over the last 15 years has affected the population. It keeps people in a state of tension, where some think it is legitimate to defend themselves against something that happened to them. Also there are so many weapons that people use them to sort out their daily issues, the ones you would see in every community.
WOMAN
Martin is my little brother, he was robbed by some armed thieves. He turned to run away. As he turned they shot him in the stomach. He had an operation and it cost us about USD$2,000, and Martin only makes USD$32 per month. Martin has five children and a wife, and it's not possible for him to pay for this medical treatment.
REGINALD MOREELS [Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres War Surgeon]
The health situation in this country is extremely precarious, much more than one could imagine. There are about 230 doctors for 8.5 million people, so you can imagine ... there is one functioning scanner for 8.5 million people.
MODESTE HAMIMENSHI [Victim of grenade attack]
It happened at night while I was preparing dinner for my family. I was preparing the plates for my husband and my daughter. I gathered everything together to bring to the table. Then I heard something thrown into the house. There was a huge explosion. My husband and daughter were killed instantly and I was in severe pain. I think the grenade was thrown at us because my son is a member of the CNDD FDD political party. Somebody wants him dead, so he is hiding. And he wasn't even home on the night of the attack.
REGINALD MOREELS
Well, on the medical level, any grenade can injure you, anywhere on the body, usually tearing wounds, bits of flesh, a foot can be ripped off, it can hit the face or remove -- as I have seen -- parts of the brain, or the skull. There is no brain surgery here, nothing can be done. Sometimes it penetrates into an empty organ or a lung and causes severe internal bleeding, and if you are not treated on time then you die. In fact there is nothing more disgusting as a weapon, because it doesn't discriminate between anything, not a single thing.

Segment 2

TITLE
"We are all victims of this weapons system, especially me." -- Ndakoraniwe Juvenard
TEDDY MAZINA
Life is difficult here in Burundi. We are emerging from a 13-year civil war, which has left us with a culture of fear and mistrust, in addition to a surplus of weapons. I'm now going to take you to the east of the country, to investigate an event that has become a frequent occurrence: a dispute resulting in a grenade attack.
NICODEME GAHIMBARE [Deputy Public Prosecutor]
The family just returned from Tanzania where they were refugees during the civil war. When they arrived here they wanted to get their land back, but their relatives didn't want them to reclaim it. This is how the dispute started. So they wanted to eliminate the returnees at all cost.
TITLE
"Isango," the local banana beer
SALVATOR [Victim's neighbor]
We heard my neighbor threatening the returnees. He was telling the family that by the end of the week they would all be dead.
TITLE
Rutana Prison
TEDDY MAZINA
What are you accused of?
NDAKORANIWE JUVENARD [Convicted killer]
They charged me for murder. They said I was paid to kill that family of returnees.
TEDDY MAZINA
Why are you keeping these grenades and these weapons in your house?
NDAKORANIWE JUVENARD
When people are murdered it's easy to accuse a demobilized soldier, because we know how to use guns and grenades. But in reality, most Burundians know how to use these weapons, because many people were trained during the civil war. Burundians were trained with these weapons whether they wanted to use them or not, but they were all trained. So it's always the demobilized soldiers who are accused and convicted for these killings. We are all victims of this weapons system, especially me.
TEDDY MAZINA
What is your sentence for these charges?
NDAKORANIWE JUVENARD
I was condemned to death.
NICODEME GAHIMBARE
The returnees were living in that big house there. And they were sitting together back here, waiting for the food to cook. Here in Burundi, peasants make a fire and prepare food in a little area just next to the house. So a little open-air kitchen was right here. At about 8pm, the hired killer came and threw the grenades, and the entire family was decimated. I found a child's leg here. There were only scattered body remains because three grenades were thrown at the family.
TEDDY MAZINA
Three grenades?
NICODEME GAHIMBARE
Three grenades. They were determined that no one should live. The villagers couldn't take it. They wanted the criminals to be dealt with. When the killer and the relatives were brought to court there was an enormous crowd. We had to put speakers outside to broadcast the hearing.
SALVATOR
Our whole village wanted the killers to die for what they did. We didn't just want a prison sentence. So together we asked for the killers to be released to us, and we would kill them ourselves, for murdering that poor family. Can you imagine somebody kills a family of six just like that? It's despicable.
TEDDY MAZINA
VoilĂ , so the family of six can now be found here. The tombs of the deceased are not even cared for. This is what can happen when you have land conflicts in a country where small arms are prevalent and easy to get. VoilĂ , an entire family wiped out.
TITLE
"... so there is no peace at all" -- Nchoro
NCHORO [Arms dealer]
During the war I was arming Burundians.
JOSEPH MUJIJI [Human rights advocate]
Heavy weapons, as well as light weapons arrived in Burundi during the war of 1993.
NCHORO
During the war, so many people were distributing weapons. I was also dealing weapons. I was dealing weapons throughout the civil war. You had to protect yourself.
JOSEPH MUJIJI
In 1994, weapons had dramatically increased with the creation of the community militias. The weapons were distributed by the government. Fifty-four percent of the national budget was allocated to defense, specifically to purchase weapons. Since 1994 up to recently, all of the regimes of Burundi have been distributing weapons to the population. People would also buy weapons for themselves on the regional market, from Congo, Rwanda, and from various combatant groups. And citizens thought that having a weapon equaled protection.
NCHORO
Because there is no security for the people, you understand. Here, you can instantly get a weapon, and because they are so easy to find.
JOSEPH MUJIJI
In order to solve our daily conflicts, people use grenades to kill the person they are in conflict with.
NCHORO
If we want peace, a sustainable peace, we have to get rid of all these weapons.
TITLE
"Weapons call out to weapons." -- Teddy Mazina
CHILD
Can we have it after the omelet?
TEDDY MAZINA
No, we're not going to have pizza.
CHILD
But pizzas are like omelets, because pizzas and omelet taste good.
TEDDY MAZINA
Pizzas and omelets taste good?
CHILD
And omelets and pizzas are the same thing.
TEDDY MAZINA
What?
TEDDY MAZINA
Weapons have brought a disease into our country. When your neighbor is contaminated, you become sick as well. The question is, how can we free our society from this sickness? Weapons call out to other weapons, and violence, and our communities become sick. How can communities think more long-term in this environment? This is a constant tension for us. When we "resolve" our ethnic problems, other problems will come to take their place, and it becomes a cycle. Africans as a whole are damned because of this abundance of weapons.
TITLE
Share your story. Add your voice. Help control the arms trade by showing that armed violence affects us all. www.shootingpoverty.org or twitter #shootingpoverty
TITLE
[end credits]