NEWS 2007

 

 

Bushmen step up pressure on Botswana over desert land

Mon. February 19, 2007 01:20 pm.- By Bonny Apunyu.

Bushman - the last hunter gatherer community in Southern Africa threatening to go back to court to force President Mr Festus Mogae’s government to comply with the order. 

This comes two months after winning a High Court order compelling the Botswana government to allow them to go back to the dry Kalahari Desert. 

The campaign is threatening Botswana’s diamond exports, with rights group claiming the government removed the San from their ancestral lands to make way for diamond mines. 

In December, the Bushmen or the San from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CGRK) won the court case in which they accused Botswana’s government of illegally removing them from their ancestral homelands in 2002 to make way for diamond mines. 

The ruling was hailed as a milestone for indigenous people in Africa, who are being forced off their ancestral lands. 

Botswana - which until the high profile ruling was fighting relentlessly to starve off accusations that its diamonds came from conflict areas - is one of the world’s highest producers of the precious stones. 

Rights groups were targeting the diamond market in rich countries trying to convince buyers that the precious stones were being mined from the reserve where the Bushmen were forcibly evicted in the 1990s. 

The campaign had caused headaches for the government.

- Agencies.