Botswana allowing hundreds of Bushmen to be abused

 

Last updated 12/4/2014 at 10:07am

Survival International

Bushmen were illegally evicted from their ancestral homeland in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve just for being Bushmen. The Botwana government accuses them of "poaching" because they hunt for their food. Here young boys start a fire the ancient way.

CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE, BOTSWANA-Hundreds of Bushmen have been beaten, arrested and abused in Botswana according to a recent report from Survival International. The report details over 200 cases of violent abuse recorded between 1992 and 2014, abuses such as a Bushman who died after being tortured; a child shot in the stomach after his father refused police entry to his hut without a warrant; and a Bushman who was buried alive for killing an antelope.

Bushmen were illegally evicted from their ancestral homeland in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the name of "conservation". The Botwana government accuses them of "poaching" because they hunt their food, and face arrests and beatings, torture and death at the hands of wildlife officers and paramilitary police.

The U.S. Department of State has called Botswana's discrimination against the Bushmen a "principal human rights concern" and the government has been condemned nationally and internationally by Botswana's High Court, the United Nations, the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, Botswana political activist and former Robben Island prisoner Michael Dingake, the BBC's John Simpson, and many more.


The Central Kalahari Game Reserve was created as a "place of sanctuary" for the Bushmen to continue their way of life as hunter-gatherers in 1961. But after diamonds were discovered in the reserve in the 1980s, the government began to force the Bushmen off their ancestral homeland.

Tribal peoples like the Bushmen are better at looking after their environment than anyone else, but Botswana's President Ian Khama has justified their persecution in the name of "conservation", while allowing diamond mining and fracking exploration to go ahead in the reserve.

 
 

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