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As the Kalahari Bushmen mark the first anniversary of their landmark court victory tomorrow, Survival has vowed to support them in their continued struggle to return to their land.
The Bushmen are considering further legal action against the government, which has failed to implement last year’s High Court ruling, and Survival has said it will continue to offer support.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The court ruling was met with almost universal approval both in Botswana and internationally. It was applauded as a just and courageous ruling, which would change the landscape of Indigenous rights in Africa forever. It is still that.
‘It was also seen as the way home for the Bushmen and the way out of the evictions controversy for the government. Tragically, the government has chosen to reject the opportunity presented by the court, and continues to keep the Bushmen from their land.
‘The government trucked the Bushmen out of the reserve, but it will not help them get home. It won’t let them use their water borehole, and it won’t let them hunt. In fact, it has stepped up its persecution of Bushman hunters: at least 53 have been arrested in 2007, and many tortured.
‘Meanwhile, the government has backed plans for a massive diamond mine worth $2.2 billion on the Bushmen’s ancestral land.
‘The state of the evicted Bushmen grows ever more desperate. They have said they may return to court, and if they do, Survival is ready to help.’
For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]