A group of forty Bushmen have managed to return to their homes in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve this weekend, despite a heavy police presence and attempts to persuade them to stay in the relocation camps.
All the Bushmen in the convoy were allowed into the reserve by the wildlife guards at the gates, although some were only issued with temporary permits.
Plain-clothes police went into the reserve ahead of the Bushmen, but have now left.
The police attempted to persuade the Bushmen not to leave New Xade relocation camp by telling them that President Mogae first wanted to talk to them, but the Bushmen insisted on going home.
Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'We hope that the authorities will not try to make life difficult for the Bushmen wanting to return home, and will see that it is in their own interest, as well as that of the Bushmen, that the process is as calm and problem-free as possible. The Bushmen are ecstatic and are full of gratitude for all those who supported them, both in Botswana and throughout the world.'
Photos will be available shortly. For further information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]