SAN PERSECUTION CONTINUES IN
September 13 2005
Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) condemns the
Government of Botswana (GoB) for systematically waging a campaign
of terror against especially the Gana and Gwi San (i.e. Bushman)
indigenous minority groups in that country.
In a series of alarming reports during the last eight months, the
London-based international human rights organization, Survival
International (SI), has continuously exposed what appears to be a
deliberate campaign of terror directed mainly against the two San
groups. On numerous occasions the Botswana Centre for Human Rights
(Ditshwanelo) has also expressed grave concern about the
precarious situation of the Basarwa (i.e. San) indigenous
populations in Botswana.
Some eight years ago, the two hunters and gatherer people were
forcibly removed from their traditional hunting grounds in the
Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). They were dumped in camps
just outside the Reserve where livelihood for them is virtually
“Seen against the background of maintaining the death penalty
coupled with the recent politically motivated deportation of
Australian Professor Kenneth Good and the December 2003
refoulement of eight Namibian refugees, the incessant persecution
of these two vulnerable groups, exposes the false image of
Botswana as one of Africa’s most democratic countries. It is
also ludicrous for our leaders to demand reform and democracy
within United Nations while at home they deny these things to
their own people”, noted NSHR executive director Phil ya
Nangoloh in the Namibian capital this morning.
In the latest development, armed police and wildlife rangers have
raided Gwi and Gana residents in the CKGR threatening to execute
the residents should they refuse to leave the Reserve, SI said in
a Press Release on September 12 2005.
“The authorities must not carry out such threats. Furthermore,
in solidarity with our sister organizations SI and the Botswana
Center for Human Rights, we are calling upon the GoB to entirely
desist from this campaign of terror against these already
vulnerable peoples”, said ya Nangoloh.
NSHR calls upon Southern Africa Development Community nations, the
African Union, the United Nations as well as the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights to address the human rights
situation of Botswana’s San people before it is too late.
Note: For further comment, please call Phil ya Nangoloh or
Dorkas Philemon at Tel: +264 61 236 183 or +264 61 253 447 (office
hours) or Mobile: +264 811 299 886 (Phil) or e-mail: email@example.com
or web: www.nshr.org.na