Bushmen – back to court?

November 20, 2007

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Bushmen in Botswana today announced they plan to return to court within a matter of weeks if the government continues to prevent them from returning home.

The Gana and Gwi Bushmen were evicted from their lands in the central Kalahari in 2002, but last year won a landmark court case affirming their right to go home.

Hundreds of letters signed by Bushmen were today handed to Botswana's department of wildlife, detailing their concerns. They say the government is refusing to let them hunt to feed their families. Fifty-three Bushmen have been arrested for hunting since the court victory in December.

The government is also preventing the Bushmen from using their water borehole, and is insisting that only a limited number of them can return to their land. It has refused to provide transport for the Bushmen to go home, despite the court's finding that they were evicted illegally and against their will.

A representative of the Bushman organisation, First People of the Kalahari, today stated, ‘We do not want to keep fighting in the courts. That is not the way to resolve problems. But we feel we have no other option. We are desperate.’

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