Violence erupts in Bushmen's reserve

September 16, 2005

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Clashes have erupted between Gana and Gwi Bushmen desperate to stay inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and wildlife officers and police trying to force them out.

At least one Bushman, Matsipane Mosetlhenyane, is known to have sought medical help outside the reserve after a clash with armed wildlife officers. The officers had tried to force their way into Mosetlhenyane's home.

Police yesterday confiscated radio equipment belonging to the Bushmen's organisation First People of the Kalahari (FPK). The organisation had been using the equipment to communicate with Bushmen inside the reserve. With the reserve now sealed off and police and wildlife officers in the Bushman communities, little news can get out about what is happening inside.

The Bushmen's court case against the Botswana government was yesterday adjourned until February 2006 to allow the Bushmen to seek funds to allow them to continue. The case is already the longest and most costly in Botswana's history, despite being brought by the country's poorest inhabitants.

Photos and footage available. For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]