THREE-YEAR EVICTION ANNIVERSARY:
BUSHMEN FIGHT BACK AS BOTSWANA'S PR
11 February 2005
Three years after the Botswana government evicted the Gana and Gwi
Bushmen from their ancestral land, over 200 Bushmen have returned home
in spite of attempts to stop them, while Botswana faces increasing
criticism in the international press. Recent articles in the Los Angeles
Times, the Boston Globe, the Seattle Times and the well-known US magazine Mother Jones all slam the evictions.
The Los Angeles Times calls the eviction site New Xade a 'desolate'
place. 'There are no wild desert melons and roots to be gathered anywhere
nearby, no work, nothing to do. At night, young people slouch around as tinny distorted music blares out at the Cool Way BarŠ New Xade
is a place where drinking can leave scars.' The Mother Jones
correspondent, also visiting New Xade, found 'garbage-strewn streets and
loitering drunks', and a mounting HIV/AIDS death toll. 'This is the
place of perishing', one Bushman told him.
The Botswana government and De Beers have spent huge sums of money
paying international PR firm Hill and Knowlton to defend the evictions.
Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'It's incredible that the
Botswana government still pretends that the Gana and Gwi moved voluntarily and are happy with life in the eviction sites. Every
independent journalist comes back with the same story of
alcoholism, despair, and the people's desperation to go home.'
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELEASE