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Survival International's advertising campaign has spread to Canada. A new advert appears today in the Ottawa Citizen highlighting the eviction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and what many suspect to be the real reason behind this atrocity – the diamond deposits known to be in the Reserve.
The advert is timed to coincide with a meeting of mining ministers, diamond companies and NGOs in Ottawa for the final round of the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process was set up by the UN General Assembly to control the trade in conflict diamonds.
Headlined 'Diamonds mean despair' the ad says, 'The Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' are being brutally evicted from their ancestral land in Botswana. The authorities have driven them from their homes, cut off their water, forbidden them to hunt or gather food, and are forcing them into 'resettlement camps' where despair reigns. The government says this is to offer them 'development' – the Bushmen think it's to make way for diamond mines. You can help save the Gana and Gwi from exile and destruction: tell the authorities what you think, and that you will avoid buying Botswana diamonds until the Bushmen get their land.'
Survival's director, Stephen Corry, said today, 'The longer the government persists in not allowing the Bushmen to live on their own land, the more likely it is that Botswana's diamonds will be labelled 'conflict diamonds'. President Mogae's obstinacy is putting at risk his country's main source of income.'
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.
Click here to donate to Survival's Bushman campaign.