Protests mar visit of Botswana president

June 8, 2003

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Peaceful protests are expected to dog President Mogae of Botswana throughout his visit to Britain this week. The Botswana government has evicted hundreds of Gana and Gwi Bushmen from their ancestral land and dumped them in bleak resettlement camps, earning worldwide condemnation.

There will be a peaceful vigil outside the Botswana High Commission from 2pm Monday to 12 noon Thursday, while the President is in the country.

Where: Botswana High Commission, Stratford Place (Bond Street tube).    
Monday 9th June 2pm-5pm   Tuesday 10th June 9am-5pm                                        Wednesday 11th June 9am-5pm   Thursday 12th June 8am-12pm

Botswana's persecution of the Bushmen has brought the President international notoriety; he even features in the Imperial War Museum's permanent exhibition on Crimes against Humanity, where he is quoted warning the Bushmen they face extinction.

The Bushmen opposed to the evictions have sent an open message to the President, and the government-appointed representatives of the resettlement camps accompanying him while he is in the UK, 'We cannot read nor write, we do not have money to board a plane to come to London to tell you our story… We hope that you will support our struggle to be heard by our government before it is too late to prevent the total extinction of our culture.'