Survival welcomes government’s decision not to appeal court ruling

December 19, 2006

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Survival International today welcomed the statement by the Botswana government that it would not appeal last week’s historic High Court ruling in favour of the Central Kalahari Bushmen.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘As we have always stressed, only the government will decide the fate of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen. We are encouraged by the government’s decision not to appeal the ruling, and also by their confirmation that they will seek to apply the spirit of the decision. It would after all be a huge mistake if the government were advised that the judgement should be applied selectively and unfairly.

‘The Bushmen have the legal right to occupy their ancestral homeland without further harassment. They must be able to live there freely: that means to hunt and gather, keep their small herds of goats and handful of donkeys and horses, cultivate their tiny fields, and use the available water resources. In other words, to return generally to the situation before the evictions. They must also be able to come and go freely – the CKGR is not a prison.

‘Survival International will now carefully analyse the government's response to the judgement, as it develops over the next few weeks. We pray that its deliberations will be considered and centred around the rights of its people. We will consult  the Bushmen and listen to what they themselves want, and then make a decision, hopefully about ending the campaign, which we will announce as soon as possible.'

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