Bushmen travel to Westminster to seek support

May 22, 2007

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Bushman leader Roy Sesana will meet with British MPs at Westminster this Wednesday 23 May to seek support for his people’s ten-year struggle to return to their land in the Kalahari desert, Botswana.

Despite the Bushmen’s dramatic court victory in December, the Botswana government is trying to prevent them returning to their land. The country’s President has urged them not to go home, and the Attorney General has said that only Bushmen named in the court case can return. Some have gone home, but many hundreds more are desperate to do so.

Despite the court ruling that the evictions were illegal, the government has refused to help the Bushmen make the long journey home. It has also banned the Bushmen from taking their small herds of goats back to their land. Since the court ruling, Bushman hunters have been arrested, beaten and held for days without food.

Alternative Nobel Prize winner Sesana will meet members of the newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group on Tribal Peoples.

Sesana said today, ‘We Bushmen won our court case, and this made us feel strong again. But now the President is ignoring Botswana’s own court. I am asking people in Britain to please help us, because people are dying in the places where we have been forced to live.’

Sesana will also go to Downing Street to deliver a letter from the Bushmen to Tony Blair expressing their dismay at the British government’s support for the evictions.

Roy Sesana will be available for interview from 23 to 25 May.

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