ARCHIVE 2004

 

Fighting Cultural Genocide                                                                                                             (December 22, 2004) News: The co-founder of a legal and humanitarian aid group details the plight of the Kalahari Bushmen.

BUSHMEN'S AGONISING TREK TO RETURN HOME                                                                      (20 December 2004) Bushmen who were evicted by the government from their homes in the Kalahari are braving exhaustion and starvation to return to their land.

Last stand of the San as dispossessed Bushmen seek hope from obese westerners                           (December 16, 2004) A drive through the windblown San settlements of grass and wood scattered across southern Africa is a depressing experience: families ravaged by poverty, unemployment and alcoholism - their hunter-gatherer tradition a fading memory.

CAMPAIGN WINS BACK LAND FOR ISOLATED TRIBE                                                                   SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELEASE - 14 December 2004 - Authorities in India have bowed to local and international pressure and increased the size of the reserve set aside for the recently-contacted Jarawa tribe. The reserve, which is crucial for the tribe's survival, has been enlarged by 180 sq km.

No United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?                                          (December 10, 2004) For twenty years, Indigenous Peoples and their support organisations have been pressuring the United Nations to adopt a declaration for the protection of the rights of the world’s Indigenous Peoples. It is feared that – due to blocking attempts most notably by the UK and the USA - the UN will now stop this process and leave Indigenous Peoples’ rights unrecognized.

HUNGER STRIKE BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' REPRESENTATIVES AT THE UNITED NATIONS! Update: 03.12.2004 END OF THE INDIGENOUS HUNGER STRIKE

Coping with social and cultural contradictions                                                                                  12/10/2004 - Any society which accommodates three social formations - all interacting and all in flux - at one historical moment, is likely to experience some serious contradictions. We have Khoi/San people spread across the formations, with some still practicing hunting and gathering. None of them will, however, be unaffected by the two other social formations. Rather like the Athapascan “hunter/gatherers” of Alaska who chase their prey on snowmobiles and use telescopic sights on rifles to kill them, some “Basarwa” are said to use rifles and not bows and arrows to hunt. Others engage in tertiary education, etc!

Bushman witness ‘feared for her life’ during evictions                                                                        (24.11.2004) The first Bushman woman to give evidence during the court case in which 243 Bushmen are suing the government for the right to return to their ancestral land told how she ‘feared for her life’ when being evicted in 2002.

Gana and Gwi Bushmen appeal to UK's black population                                                                  (22. Nov. 2004) Gana Bushman Roy Sesana has appealed to the UK's black population to support his people's fight to return to their land. In an interview published in The Voice, the UK's biggest black newspaper, Sesana asks black people living in the UK not to buy diamonds from De Beers, and to put pressure on their local MPs to support the Gana and Sesana says ..

World's indigenous peoples slam UK government                                                                             (16.11.2004) UK attacked for blocking historic UN declaration - The world's indigenous people are targetting the UK government for blocking an historic UN declaration on indigenous rights. The UK has decided that collective human rights do not exist - a position which could harm tribal and indigenous peoples around the world.

De Beers supports Bushman book but not their rights                                                                       (15.11.2004) In what is presumably an attempt to deflect attention from the controversy surrounding its reaction to the eviction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen of Botswana, De Beers is sponsoring the launch of a new book about the Bushmen of southern Africa, 'Voices of the San'.

Development plan to be unveiled for Khomani San people                                                                  (November 02, 2004) A development plan for the Khomani San people of the Northern Cape is expected to be unveiled and implemented soon at Andriesvale in Kgalagadi. The Mier Municipality and other stake holders are currently finalising the plan.

Khomani San traditional leaders voice concerns                                                                               (October 27, 2004) The Khomani San traditional leaders were given the opportunity to voice their concerns to the Human Rights Commission on alleged human rights violations of their community at Andriesvale in the Northern Cape.

San traditional leader to make submission today                                                                              (October 27, 2004) David Kruiper, the Khomani San traditional leader, is expected to make a submission today at the Human Rights Commission's inquiry into alleged rights violations involving the Khomani San community in the Northern Cape.

Inquiry held into rights violations against the San                                                                              (October 26, 2004) The Human Rights Commission into alleged rights violations of the Khomani San community kicked off in Andriesvale in the Northern Cape today. The commission is investigating allegations of victimisation and harassment, which include neglect and abuse of community members by government departments and others.

San community wants local govt taken to task                                                                                 (October 26, 2004) The provincial and local government department could be subpoenaed for failing to turn up for Human Rights Commission (HRC) hearings into alleged violations of the rights of the Khomani San community.

Fourteen Characteristics of Fascism                                                                                               Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, wrote an article about fascism which appeared in Free Inquiry magazine -- a journal of humanist thought. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism.

BUSHMEN'S HISTORIC COURT CASE TO RECOMMENCE IN NOVEMBER                                     (October 25, 2004) SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELEASE - The historic court case brought by the Gana and Gwi Bushmen against the Botswana government is due to recommence on 3 November in Lobatse, the seat of Botswana's high court.

DIAMOND TRIBE NOT FOREVER                                                                                                  (October 11, 2004) Displaced Kalahari tribespeople call for boycott of mining company products - Botswanan bushmen have called on the black community to boycott diamond company De Beers after their tribe was forced to leave their ancestral home to live in “places of death”.

Diamonds stained by blood of the Bushmen                                                                                     (9 October 2004) ROY SESANA, a Gana “Bushman” from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, southern Africa, visited London last week.

DISPOSSESSED KAHALARI BUSHMEN TRAVEL STATES ON FUND-RAISING/AWARENESS CAMPAIGN  The San, or Bushmen, of Southern Africa’s Kalahari, are the oldest culture on the planet, dating back at least 70,000 years. Hunter-gatherers with a culture based around healing, they do not make war and enjoy gender equality in their daily lives.

Navajo Leadership Camp & Meeting with San Bushmen from the Central Kalahari                               September 2004 - Last September we had the opportunity to facilitate and take part in a remarkable gathering in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, deep in the heart of the Diné reservation. Our annual leadership camp with individuals and organizations working with Native youth in the Four Corners region was visited by a group of San Bushmen from the Kalahari who were traveling the US to bring attention to their land plight in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana.

"Indigenous Peoples Among Earth`s Poorest"                                                                                  (September 24, 2004) Respect for cultures needed in development, World Bank Head Says - WASHINGTON - "Indigenous people account for some of the poorest and most excluded populations on the planet," World Bank President James Wolfensohn says. Speaking September 23 at a World Bank forum on trends in development involving indigenous peoples, Wolfensohn said the bank recognizes that respect for different cultures is integral to development efforts.

From the Kalahari to Malibu                                                                                                            (September 23, 2004) Radio Expeditions - Jumanda Gakelobone, a Kalahari Bushman from Botswana, leaves his shoes above the water line at Malibu's Paradise Cove in Southern California for his first-ever wade in the ocean. He's seen the ocean on television, seen people playing in the water -- but this is the first time he's felt the beach sand between his toes.

US STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS BOTSWANA GOVERNMENT 'FORCED BUSHMEN TO ABANDON THEIR ANCESTRAL COMMUNITIES'  (September 2, 2004) A report on human rights released earlier this year by the US government says that the Botswana government 'forcibly resettled' the Bushmen from their ancestral land.

Mbeki's plan for land redistribution brings angry response from whites                                                (30 July 2004) The South African government is considering new regulations to limit foreign ownership of property in South Africa, in a move that would directly affect British investors.

New Hai-//om traditional authority eyes Etosha                                                                                (July 29, 2004) IN the 1950s, the colonial South African government expelled the Hai-//om San from the Etosha National Park, an ancestral habitat they had occupied for centuries.

Court hears God gave Bushmen their land                                                                                       (27 Jul 2004) A San Bushman who defied a state order to move out of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve told the Botswana High Court on Tuesday that the land had been given to him by God.

Defying Ban, Kalahari Bushmen Return to Reserve                                                                           (July 26, 2004) Since opening to independent tourism in the early 1990s, Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve has gained fame as one of Africa's greatest adventures: a 20,386-square-mile (52,800-square-kilometer) wildlife preserve where one can rent a 4x4 and go exploring virtually unchaperoned through a landscape packed with giraffes, lions, and antelope.

Political Financiers Must Be Unmasked                                                                                          (July 26, 2004) Except that this country is called Botswana and occupies a geographical space, it does not have any other legitimate claim to uniqueness. Take away the name Botswana and this country could easily be Zimbabwe or any of those countries where transparency and accountability are an endangered species.

Forced to live on scraps                                                                                                                 (SA SundayTimes - Sunday 25 Jul 2004) Recently the Sunday Times broke the story of how the Khomani San children of Dawid Kruiper's family were being paid to entertain tourists. Henrijette Geldenhuys and Katherine Muick visit the ancestral home of these children to find out why this happened

How the UN has failed in its mission                                                                                               (July 25, 2004) Here’s a quick pop quiz. What do right wing ideologues in the United States have in common with the filth in Nairobi’s garbage dumps? At first glance, there is nothing that obviously ties them together, but closer inspection turns up the one thing they share. They may both be harbingers of the death of the United Nations.

Bushmen of Botswana, S. Africa visit U.S to Publicize Human Rights Violations by Botswana Government (July 24, 2004) Bushmen contingent from S. Africa and Botswana to tour the U.S in September to speak about their forced relocation from their ancestral lands by Botswana government and subsequent court battle to win them back.

Basarwa Continue Challenge On Botswana                                                                                      (July 23, 2004) A CASE in which the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) are testifying towards reversal of the Botswana government's decision to cut off basic services from the inhabitants of the reserve is to resume next Monday, July 26, 2004.

Botswana govt to renew De Beers concession licence                                                                      (July 23, 2004) The Botswana government has confirmed that it will renew its concession mining licence with De Beers for the Jwaneng Diamond mine. Earlier reports speculated that the Botswana government wants to secure more favourable terms from De Beers, failing which it might consider not to renew the company's licence, which expires at the end of this month.

Botswana govt urges De Beers workers not to strike                                                                         (July 22, 2004) The Botswana government has pleaded with mineworkers' unions not to go ahead with a strike at De Beers' four diamond mines in the country. The government's partnership with the diamond giant is known as Debswana.

Hereros Mark Genocide in Botswana                                                                                               (July 19, 2004) Hundreds of Herero people gathered in Botswana on Saturday to pay homage to ancestors killed by German soldiers in Namibia who almost wiped out their people a century ago.

San trial begins with witness saying reserve was created for Bushmen                                               (2004-07-19) Litigation - Contradictory evidence was given at the trial in which a group of 243 San Bushmen are challenging the Botswana Government’s bid to relocate them from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

Trying to Protect Something More Precious Than Gold                                                                     (July 16, 2004) JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Southern African countries are seeking to restrict trade in a rare plant hungrily sought by drug companies for its appetite-suppressing properties, a government official said on Friday.

"San people are indigenous to Botswana Reserve"                                                                           (14 July 2004) During the ongoing High Court proceedings in Botswana's New Xade settlement, where the San people (also known as "Bushmen" or Basarwa) fight their eviction from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the creator of the Reserve yesterday gave evidence.

Update on the murder of Optel Rooi                                                                                                 Quo vadis "Republic?" of South Africa (July 14, 2004) It has been seven weeks since the screening of the schocking documentary Death of a Bushman on Special Assignment and seven months since Optel’s death.

A colourful mix of cultures seek justice                                                                                            (July 14, 2004) A landmark case is being played out in the Kalahari Desert to determine the fate of the San Bushmen. David Blair reports from New Xade, Botswana. Bushmen wearing antelope horns mingled with lawyers in flowing robes yesterday when Botswana's High Court assembled in a remote desert outpost to hear a landmark case that will decide the future of the Kalahari's oldest residents. 

Botswana court case continues                                                                                                      (July 13, 2004) NEW XADE, Botswana - The second leg of a landmark case over the right to ancestral land by Africa's earliest inhabitants, the San Bushmen, started in a make-shift court in the Kalahari desert yesterday.

Botswana company unveils giant drill                                                                                              (July 13, 2004) A Botswana based company has designed and assembled a giant rig that will assist in exploring the vast mineral resources of Southern Africa.

Khama laments destruction of Botswana/Zim electric fence                                                               (13 July, 2004) BOBONONG - The Vice President Seretse Khama Ian Khama has lamented that government's efforts to electrify the border fence between Botswana and Zimbabwe had borne no fruit as people cut the fence and stolen the solar panels.

Botswana bushmen in legal fight - The bushmen's way of life has changed                                         (12 July, 2004) A group of bushmen from Botswana who claim the government illegally evicted them from their ancestral lands have begun challenging the move in court. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve used to be home to thousands of indigenous bushmen, but now only 100 or so remain. 

"Space for the embattled"                                                                                                               (July 12, 2004) Minority communities need a respite from attack to be able to challenge their own dupes and demagogues - The American Directory of Certified Uncle Toms, published by the self-appointed Council on Black Internal Affairs after the Million Man March, describes itself as "a review of the history, antics and attitudes of handkerchief heads, Aunt Jemimas, head negroes in charge and house negroes against the freedom of the black race".

The Price of Freedom is Vigilance                                                                                                   (July 12, 2004) THE concept of freedom gets one thinking. Freedom, what does it mean? Does it mean the same thing to all people? There are people who would like to do anything their whims impel them to do, anytime, anyhow and anywhere, regardless of what other people think or wish. With them it is okay to act on impulse and damn the rest of humanity. Is that what the concept as commonly understood implies? None, except the eccentric, would be inclined to that interpretation.

Bushmen mourn lost lifestyle                                                                                                          (11 July, 2004) The Kalahari bushmen are a people living in a place, and perhaps a time, that is no longer their own.

Bushmen fight for ancestral lands                                                                                                   (July 10, 2004) Landmark legal case may be last hope for displaced San people of Botswana - It was a little court in a big desert, and the lawyers grew uneasy as the shadows lengthened: lions are nocturnal hunters. Gordon Bennett, a British barrister, suggested the court adjourn. "Dusk is almost upon us and we are camping tonight."

Congo, Democratic Republic: Pygmies stand up to World Bank logging development                          WRM bulletin July 2004 - Together with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Bank is supporting the development of comprehensive new forestry laws in the Congo, as well as the 'zoning' of the country's entire forest area which would imply the logging of some 60 million hectares of tropical forest. More than 100 environment, development and human rights groups had challenged in February of this year those projects (see WRM Bulletin Nº 80).

San rights group gets lashing                                                                                                         06/07/2004 13:24  - (SA)  Ghanzi - Botswana launched a stinging attack on Tuesday on the human rights group supporting the San in a land claim, calling it a "fund-raising gimmick".

Bushmen fight resettlement                                                                                                            (Mon, 05 Jul 2004) The plight of southern Africa's earliest inhabitants, the San Bushmen, comes to the fore on Monday when Botswana's High Court begins hearing a landmark land case in the Kalahari desert. A group of 243 San Bushmen are challenging their resettlement from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, one of the world's largest sanctuaries and an area they have been calling home for the past 20?000 years.

San judges visit Kalahari                                                                                                                05/07/2004 13:39  - (SA) Maun, Botswana - Judges from Botswana's high court travelled to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve on Monday as part of a landmark case brought by the San challenging their eviction from an area they consider their homeland.

San Bushman want their day in Botswana court                                                                               The fate of one of southern Africa's oldest nomadic tribes, the San or Bushmen, could be sealed when the Botswana High Court hears argument on the issue of ancestral land rights. The court case, which commences on July 5 with an in loco inspection, could decide the future of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen communities.

Botswana: more on the San/Kalahari reserve dispute                                                                        (July 05, 2004) I have been doing some reading since that last post ... and gained a new appreciation for the complexity and diversity of perspectives on the issue. Most useful was a paper written by James Suzman, a professor at Cambridge University whose area of research is the Khoisan (San/Bushmen) peoples.

Botswana Bushmen Case Could Set Landmark Ruling                                                                      (July 4, 2004) A ground-breaking court case on the legality of the forced resettlement of the San communities of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is due to begin in Botswana tomorrow (Monday) in what some claim has been carried out to allow diamond mining by the government and De Beers, its 50-50 partner.

San group goes to court                                                                                                                 04/07/2004 09:21  - (SA) Maun, Botswana - The plight of southern Africa's earliest inhabitants, the San, comes to the fore on Monday when Botswana's high court begins hearing a landmark land case in the Kalahari desert.

The court case will have implications beyond the CKGR                                                                    JOHANNESBURG, 1 Jul 2004 (IRIN) - A historic court case on the legality of the forced resettlement of the San communities of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) will open in Botswana on Monday.

De Beers in new Botswana exploration venture                                                                                 (June 29, 2004) JOHANNESBURG - South African mining giant De Beers yesterday finalised a joint venture with Firestone Diamonds to explore and develop a new diamond mine in Botswana, the companies announced.

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELEASE                                                                              (23.06.2004) BOTSWANA PRESIDENT PERSONALLY GIVES BLANKETS TO BUSHMEN AND TELLS THEM NOT TO GO HOME - In a surprising move, last week the president of Botswana personally visited New Xade, one of the government sites where the 'Bushmen' were taken after being expelled from their ancestral land.

Mogae San visit defended                                                                                                               23/06/2004 20:30  - (SA) Cape Town - There was nothing improper in Botswana President Festus Mogae's distribution of blankets to a San community last week, his special adviser Sidney Pilane said on Wednesday.

Botswana 'bribing' San                                                                                                                   23/06/2004 13:08  - (SA) Johannesburg - Botswana's President Festus Mogae is drawing criticism for handing out food and blankets to resettled San from the Kalahari, just weeks before a landmark court case on their land claim is to begin.

San, Botswana face off                                                                                                                  21/06/2004 20:27  - (SA) Cape town - The fate of one of southern Africa's oldest nomadic tribes, the San, could be sealed when the Botswana High Court hears arguments on the issue of ancestral land rights.

A new device puts an old skill to work                                                                                             (June 10, 2004) WHAT really goes on in Africa's remote national parks? Though satellite imaging and aerial surveys give a rough idea of changes in animal and plant life, the most detailed data still have to be collected on foot.

biopiracy - san benefit - 2004                                                                                                          The San will benefit from jobs, training and scholarships, and could gain ?6m a year if 'P57' is successful on the $3bn annual global slimming market. Pfizer have invested $400m in the drug and say clinical trials suggest it could reduce appetite by 2,000 calories a day.

BUSHMAN HUNTERS ARRESTED                                                                                                 (19 May 2004) RENEWED PERSECUTION OF HUNTERS IS LEADING TO DEPENDENCY ON HANDOUTS - Three Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana have been arrested and charged with 'unlawful hunting'. The three were hunting near the resettlement centre of New Xade, where they have been forced to live since the government evicted them from their reserve in 2002.

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO BOTSWANA GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE OF 10 MAY 2004   (13 May 2004) It is disappointing that once again the Botswana government chooses to blame the messenger and attack Survival International, rather than address the issues at the heart of the 'Bushman' controversy.

EYEWITNESS TRANSCRIPT                                                                                                         (12.05.2004) Let me put here a short transcript of a conversation I had with one of the men inside the Central Kalahari: Interview with Ngwaga Osele @ Molapo: G//anakhwe are famous in Canada and America. I found a book in America which you are in.

Oppenheimer mum on plans, while Botswana Bushmen Fight Eviction                                               (15.04.2004) "We will accept nothing less than human rights.We will know them and claim them, For all women, men, youth and children, From those who speak human rights, But deny them to their own people."

Forgotten people: The San of Southern Africa                                                                                   (15 Apr 2004) Why are the San Forgotten? - The San, better known as Bushmen, are one of the most ancient, unique, and threatened people of the world. One of the pressures on them is to abandon their traditional culture and embrace the "modern" world. Small in numbers and spread over several countries, the San suffer from the lingering impact of prejudice and racism; their hunter-gatherer culture is characterized as "rural poverty;" and their rights to roam their traditional lands are usurped by governments and developers.

No Bushmen at Olympics 2004 !                                                                                                     In 1968, Smith and Carlos were two of the world's best sprinters. At the Mexico City Olympics, Smith set a world record in the 200 meters, Peter Norman of New Zealand won the silver medal and Carlos won the bronze. But the upset took place on the victory stand when Carlos put a black glove on his left fist and Smith put one on his right. They pulled off their shoes and stood on the stand in black socks. As the national anthem was played and the American flag was raised, the two thrust their fists skyward and bowed their heads.

What just world ? - in a country which oppresses its first people!                                                       (March 21-25, 2004) Thoughts also for the corridors of the 5th CIVICUS World Assembly meeting, which will be held under the motto: ACTING TOGETHER FOR A JUST WORLD in Gaborone, Botswana -- "Life can not just depend on lawyers!", - and stop buying these bloodstained diamonds for your love! -- "Life can not just depend on lawyers", a traditional group of Gana commented during a recent visit of journalists in Botswana the continuous circling of governmental and non-governmental activities sourrounding the plight and struggle of the First People of the Kalahari and southern Africa, the San.

Mining can take place in CGKR - official                                                                                          (March 9, 2004) THE head of Public Relations and Research in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clifford Maribe has said there is a possibility of future mining inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).

Culture under threat - Special Report on the San Bushmen                                                               © Survival International - The San have lived in Southern Africa for 30,000 years, but the fate of a unique lifestyle is in the balance - MOLAPO, 5 Mar 2004 (IRIN) - Drinking cool water in an ostrich egg shell after a long hot trek. Praying with the parents by the ancestors' graves. Sharing water pans with lions. These are Jumanda Gakelebone's memories of his life as a San resident in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).

Valentine's Diamonds = Bloody Diamonds: Boycott DeBeers and Iman                                              (14. Feb. 2004) Iman, the ailing exSomali model, called by many Somalis a Sharmooto (= a female, who does everything for money!) or even worse: Dhilleeysi, is still on the payroll of DeBEERS. That very diamond company, whose founder-ancesters and family of Oppenheimer are openly linked to the slaughter and genocide also of the San people in southern Africa since two centuries, continues to violate human rights, wherever the monster sets its feet on African soil.

Kalahari Diamonds Limited Project, Botswana                                                                                 On February 13, 2003 the International Finance Corporation (IFC) approved an equity investment in Kalahari Diamonds Limited. Sponsored by BHP Billiton, Kalahari Diamonds Limited will prospect for diamonds within licensed areas, one third of which fall within the Central Kalahari and Khutse Game Reserves, traditional homelands of the San (Bushmen). The project sponsor committed to hold consultations with San community members following the project’s approval and the IFC planned to visit the project area early in the project’s implementation.

Ogiek and Watha among 100,000 New supporters for the Bushmen                                                   Survival supporters around the world are handing in a 100,000 signature petition to Botswana embassies and consulates this week. The hand-in marks the second anniversary of the forced relocation of hundreds of Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' from their ancestral land. One year ago Survival presented the first 100,000 signatures to the Botswana government.

 

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