British MP attacks Survival over Bushmen

April 19, 2006

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British Conservative MP Malcolm Moss has attacked Survival's campaign in support of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen. He has ‘promised to support Botswana' to counter Survival's ‘malicious propaganda', reports the Botswana government paper, the Daily News. Mr Moss led a delegation of British MPs and peers on a visit to Botswana this month.

Mr Moss has accused Survival of using ‘dirty tactics to discredit Botswana regarding the relocation of the former residents of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR)', and has claimed that the organisation relies on ‘wrong information'. The Daily News reports, ‘Moss said he did not believe there was any other alternative policy than the one government had adopted.'

Gana Bushman Solomon Phetolo, who met with the parliamentarians, said today, ‘What the MPs are saying is wrong. Survival is telling the truth, and what they say comes from us. We Bushmen just want to be allowed to live on our land, and we want the government to stop harassing us.'

In addition to Malcolm Moss, the delegation included Lord Steel (Liberal Democrat), James Brokenshire (Conservative), John Mann (Labour), Vera Baird (Labour) and Lord Chidgey (Liberal Democrat). They met briefly with evicted Bushmen in New Xade resettlement camp.

The parliamentarians are members of the all-party parliamentary group on Botswana, set up by Hill and Knowlton, the multinational PR firm hired by the Botswana government and De Beers to counter Survival's campaign. Previous delegations of MPs who have visited New Xade have had their trips paid for by De Beers, the company looking for diamonds on the Bushmen's land.

For more information call Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]