Basarwa eviction raised in European Parliament

June 20, 2002

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The land rights of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen have been raised in the European Parliament.

Glenys Kinnock, a prominent Member of the European Parliament asked, 'What plans does the Commission have to make EU support for the development of Botswana's national parks conditional on a guarantee of land ownership rights for the Bushmen in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve?'

The question is an indication that the EU's aid to Botswana is beginning to come under scrutiny, after the brutal forced removal of the Bushmen.

Recently the European Commission wrote to Survival that 'the European Commission supports the Indigenous peoples' communal and inalienable ownership of the territories they traditionally inhabit.'

Survival International's Director, Stephen Corry, said today, 'It is a scandal that Europe is being asked to pay for Botswana's national parks programme at the same time as the biggest one is being illegally 'cleansed' of its people. The money should be held back until the Bushmen have their land back.'

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