World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Bushman children arrested under government repression

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

January 15, 2013


Bushman children arrested under renewed government repression


Three Bushman children have been arrested by paramilitary police in Botswana. The arrests are the latest signs of a new government policy to intimidate Bushmen who have returned to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).

The children were jailed last week for being in possession of antelope meat in the CKGR. All have since been released, but further reports of harassment and intimidation have surfaced, and there have been a growing number of Bushmen arrests.

On Wednesday, wildlife scouts beat up and confiscated fruit and berries from one Bushman, Amogelang Segootsane, telling him the food is ‘for animals, not humans!’ He was being treated in hospital last week.

One Bushman told Survival International, ‘The Bushmen are being hunted and their rights are being denied because of tourism (….) Police are given guns to go out and hunt and arrest Bushmen gathering bush food. The Bushmen of the CKGR cannot eat, cannot drink. How will they survive without food?’

The Bushmen are becoming increasingly desperate as the government is making their lives in the CKGR impossible.

The tribe relies on hunting game and gathering fruit and berries to feed their families. In 2006, the High Court confirmed the Bushmen’s right to live and hunt on their ancestral land in the CKGR, but not a single hunting license has been issued since.

Amogelang Segootsane was treated in hospital last week after he was beaten up by wildlife scouts.
© Survival
They now risk starvation, or will be forced to rely on government handouts only available in the resettlement camps outside the reserve which they call ‘places of death’.

In November, two Bushmen were arrested and tortured for killing an antelope, and were fined US$190 each. Another four men await trial this week for hunting in the reserve.

The Botswana government has repeatedly targeted the CKGR’s indigenous inhabitants, often citing wildlife conservation as its motive. Yet the Bushmen have survived for centuries alongside Botswana’s game.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Conservation has long been the excuse used to terrorize the Bushmen into leaving their desert home and it’s no coincidence that President Khama is on the board of one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, Conservation International. The American NGO obviously knows its board member’s atrocious human rights record. Does Khama really believe that a few hundred Bushmen endanger the welfare of the CKGR (an area twice the size of Rwanda) more than a diamond mine? Who knows? The only certainty in this case is Survival’s determination to do whatever it takes to back the Bushmen. Boycotts, protests, demonstrations, or supporting a court case: we will rule out none of these if this increase in harassment doesn’t end now.’

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC