International NGOs condemn Bushman evictions

Five non-governmental organisations have issued strong statements condemning the eviction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The statements, from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland and France, reflect increasing international outrage at the shootings, beatings, eviction and arrests of recent weeks.

RETENG, the Multicultural Coalition of Botswana, says, ‘The continued force employed by the government is a clear violation of [the Gana and Gwi's] human rights, and government is further in contempt of court. We therefore call upon the international community to condemn the Botswana government for these acts of violence and non-adherence to the rule of law.'

The Namibian National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has slammed the government of neighbouring Botswana for waging a ‘campaign of terror' against the Bushmen. ‘The incessant persecution of these two vulnerable groups exposes the false image of Botswana as one of Africa's most democratic countries,' says the society's director Phil ya Nangoloh.

FIAN, the Germany-based international human rights organisation campaigning for the right to adequate food, is calling for supporters to write to President Mogae of Botswana demanding an end to his government's ‘deliberate starvation policy and hunger blockade' of the Bushmen's reserve. ‘The survival of this group that is resisting removal is now at stake and their death is imminent if the Botswana government does not immediately end this grave violation of the right to food,' reads the bulletin.

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), an international NGO with its headquarters in Switzerland and an office in South Africa, has written to President Mogae expressing its ‘grave concern' over the forced eviction of the Bushmen.

ACAT-France, part of the International Federation of Action by Christians Against Torture, has issued an action bulletin requesting its members to write to President Mogae demanding an enquiry into the recent torture cases, and highlighting the violence, death threats and arbitrary detention faced by the Bushmen.

To read RETENG's press release click here
To read the NSHR's 13 September press releases on this issue click here
To read the NSHR's 10 October press release click here
To read FIAN's urgent action click here
To read COHRE's letters click here
To read ACAT-France's urgent action bulletin click here

For further information, please contact Miriam Ross on +44 20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]