BOTSWANA: US STATE
DEPARTMENT CONDEMNS BUSHMAN EVICTIONS
6 April 2005
In a major blow to the Botswana government's claims that it
evicted the Gana and Gwi Bushmen in order to 'develop' them, the
US State Department has condemned the Bushman eviction sites as
being 'threatened by the lack of employment opportunities and
rampant alcohol abuse.'
In its recently released annual report on human rights, the State
Department says the Botswana government 'forced [the Bushmen] to
abandon their ancestral communities in the CKGR.' It reports that
the Bushmen 'continued to struggle' in the eviction sites where 'game
was scarce', and that many had moved back to the CKGR. It notes
that Bushman groups 'have called for the Government to recognize
their land use system and to grant them land rights.'
Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'Fewer and fewer
people inside or outside Botswana are fooled by the government's
claims that the relocations were voluntary or that the evictions
sites constitute 'development'. It would be so easy to halt the
increasing barrage of international criticism on this issue and
salvage Botswana's reputation: the government should just let the
Bushmen go home.'
SI NEWS RELEASE
To read the full text of the report's section on Botswana, CLICK