Resolution

 

Resolution on the situation of the Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' and Bakgalagadi of the Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana

International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests

Nairobi, 2002

The Fourth Conference of the International Alliance of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests in which participated representatives of the indigenous organizations of Africa, Continental Asia, Maritime Asia and Pacific, Bahasa Region, Central America, and South America, gathered in the city of Nairobi, Kenya, in the face of the terrible situation of the Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' and Bakgalagadi of the central Kalahari Game Resreve in Botswana;

Considering:

That the Government of Botswana has forcibly evicted the majority of Gana and Gwi Bushmen and Bakgalagadi from their ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari Game reserve, has cut off their water supply in the reserve, and is preventing them from returning to their land;

That the forced evictions are a result of years of harassment, intimidation and torture of Bushmen and Bakgalagadi by government officials;

That the multinational mining company De Beers has started that it is opposed to recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples as it considers this similar to apartheid, and it likewise opposes 'in principle the granting of any group special previledges or status on the basis of ethnic identity;

That De Beers has a retention licence to mine in the future on Bushman land in the central Kalahari Game Reserve and refuse to have a policy on indigenous peoples.

That both the government of Botswana and De Beers refuse to recognize the Gana, Gwi and Bakgalagadi's collective rights to their land as defined in international law under ILO Convention 169 on indigenous and tribal peoples;

That it is necessary to alert the international community that the government of Botswana's actions and policies will lead to the genocide of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen tribes unless reversed.;
That the United Nations and other bodies have international instruments to prevent and condemn these kind of crime against peoples;

That the nations and governments of the world must do all in their power to prevent the destruction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen tribes

Resolves:

To give the Gana and Gwi Bushmen and Bakgalagadi tribes the full support of all the indigenous and tribal peoples of the world's tropical forests

To exhort the government of Botswana to reconsider its policy of forcibly removing Bushman peoples from their lands in order to assimilate and integrate them into the majority society and to mine on their lands.

To exhort the government of Botswana to allow the Gana and Gwi Bushmen and Bakgalagadi to return freely to their land in the central Kalahari Game Reserve and to exercise their right to choose how they wish to live.

To make known to De Beer mining company, which is active in many countries which are home to indigenous and tribal peoples, that it is unethical and unacceptable to deny indigenous peoples' collective rights, which are recognized in international law and by many nations.

To exhort De Beer mining company to adopt a policy in line with the highest international standards on indigenous and tribal peoples.

To exhort the United Nations and European Union to take all possible measure to persuade the government of Botswana and De Beers to reconsider their policies and actions which have forced the Gana and Gwi Bushman and Bakgalagadi tribes to live in bleak resettlement camps where they are totally dependent on government handouts and where their independence, unique culture and identity are fast being destroyed.


http://www.international-alliance.org/international_conf_4.htm