UN condemns Botswana's 'dispossession' of Bushmen
Botswana has been condemned by the United Nations for its 'discrimination' against Bushman tribes. The UN Human Rights Commission heard that the Bushmen have been the victims of 'discriminatory practices', and are being 'dispossessed of their traditional lands'.
The criticism comes in a report by the UN's special rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Mr Rodolfo Stavenhagen. The Human Rights Commission will discuss the report shortly.
The report goes on to say that the Bushmen's 'survival as a distinct people is endangered by official assimilationist policies.' Mr Stavenhagen visited Botswana in February, and went to a camp where Gana and Gwi Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve had just been relocated against their will.
Survival's director, Stephen Corry, said today, 'Not a single independent person who has talked to the Bushmen believes they wanted to leave the CKGR. Everyone – including the United Nations – knows the Bushmen were kicked out against their will.'
NB The names Gana and Gwi contain sounds not conveyed by this spelling, and can be written as G//ana and G/wi. Survival omits the symbols '//' and '/' as they are not understood by most people internationally.
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For more information contact Miriam Ross (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]