Survival supporters around the world are handing in a 100,000 signature petition to Botswana embassies and consulates this week. The hand-in marks the second anniversary of the forced relocation of hundreds of Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' from their ancestral land. One year ago Survival presented the first 100,000 signatures to the Botswana government.
Amongst the supporters are a delegation of Ogiek hunter-gatherers in Kenya. In a statement they say, 'the heart of the Ogiek people goes out to our brothers and sisters the Gana and Gwi Bushmen… Brothers and sisters: do not let your persecutors make you forget who you are: no matter how far away from it you have been taken, the land and life your forefathers gave you belong to you. Be strong! You will see your land again!'
Petitions will be handed in in the USA (Washington, Los Angeles and New York), Belgium, Germany, Japan, UK, Switzerland, Kenya and South Africa. The petition calls on the government to allow the Gana and Gwi to return to their ancestral land.
Stephen Corry, Director of Survival said today, 'This unprecedented level of support shows just how outraged international public opinion is about the Botswana government's persecution of its indigenous people. Support for the campaign keeps on growing, and will not end until the Bushmen are back on their land.'
Photos and footage available. For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]
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To add your name to the Bushman petition, click here.