BOTSWANA: ONE YEAR AFTER COURT
VICTORY, BUSHMEN STILL FAR FROM HOME
3 December 2007
13 December marks the first anniversary of the Kalahari Bushmen's landmark
victory in Botswana's High Court. But the Botswana government has failed to
uphold the court's ruling, and most of the Bushmen remain stranded in
The court ruled that the Botswana government's eviction of the Bushmen was 'unlawful
and unconstitutional', and that they have the right to live on their ancestral
land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and hunt and gather there.
But the government refuses to let the Bushmen hunt, and has stepped up its
persecution of those who do. At least 53 Bushmen have been arrested for
hunting in 2007, and many have been tortured.
The government has also refused to let the Bushmen access their water borehole
inside the reserve.
The Bushmen were trucked out of the reserve with their dismantled huts and all
their possessions. But the government has offered them no assistance to make
the long journey home through the Kalahari desert.
Since the court ruling, the government has backed plans for a massive diamond
mine worth $2.2 billion on the Bushmen's ancestral land.
Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'The Botswana government is in
effect saying the Bushmen have the right to eat and drink in the government
camps but not on their ancestral lands. It is effectively condemning them to
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