Government urges public not to fund Survival

May 7, 2008

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A Botswana government spokesperson has appealed to members of the public not to donate to Survival, because of its support for the Bushmen who were evicted from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve [CKGR].

Clifford Maribe of Botswana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, writing in the Sunday Standard newspaper, says, ‘Members of the public, particularly in the UK, are advised not to make donations to [Survival’s director] Mr Corry and Survival International’s campaign against Botswana’, because ‘donations/funds raised from unsuspecting members of the public drive this malicious campaign against Botswana and his obsession with the CKGR relocation issue’.  

Maribe adds, ‘The Government of Botswana's commitment to improving the wellbeing of all citizens of Botswana, including [Bushmen of the Kalahari], remains unchanged.’

Both the UN Human Rights Committee and the US State Department have recently criticised the Botswana government for its treatment of the Bushmen. The UN expressed concern that, ‘the right to return is conditional on providing identity documents prior to entering the CKGR, obtaining Special Game Licences to hunt and that the State party will not provide access to ground-water for such persons.’

The US State Department’s report states that the ‘government’s continued narrow interpretation of a December 2006 High Court ruling resulted in the majority of San [Bushmen] originally relocated from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) being prohibited from returning to or hunting in the CKGR.’