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Bushman activists fight for land rights in Botswana

Uncategorized By May 30, 2023

The San Bushmen of Botswana, the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, are fighting for their land rights. The Botswana government relocated them from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the 1980s under the guise of conservation, but they were never allowed to return. In 2006, a high court in Botswana allowed them to return, but they continue to face restrictions on their access to water, hunting permits and building permanent dwellings. The San Bushmen have organised protests and filed lawsuits to raise awareness about their situation, calling on the government to respect their rights as indigenous people.

Bushman Activists Fight for Land Rights in Botswana

Botswana is a country in southern Africa known for its diverse wildlife, precious minerals, and beautiful natural landscapes. However, the country’s indigenous people, the San Bushmen, have been fighting for their land rights for decades. The San Bushmen are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, with a history that dates back over 20,000 years. They have lived in harmony with nature, using their traditional hunting and gathering practices to sustain their way of life. However, their land and resources have been threatened by government policies and the interests of multinational companies.

In the 1980s, the Botswana government forcibly relocated the San Bushmen from their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). The relocation was done in the name of conservation, as the government wanted to protect the endangered species in the reserve. The San Bushmen were promised that they could return to their land once the conservation efforts were complete, but this never happened. Since then, the San Bushmen have been fighting for their right to return to their land and to live sustainably.

The San Bushmen are not alone in their fight for land rights. They have received support from human rights activists and environmental groups worldwide. In 2006, the San Bushmen won a landmark case in Botswana’s high court, which allowed them to return to the CKGR. However, the government has continued to make it difficult for the San Bushmen to live on their land. The government restricts their access to water, refuses to issue hunting permits, and prevents them from building permanent dwellings. These restrictions make it impossible for the San Bushmen to sustain their traditional way of life.

Despite the challenges, the San Bushmen remain determined to fight for their land rights. They have organized protests, filed lawsuits, and used social media to raise awareness about their cause. The San Bushmen believe that their fight is not just about land rights, but also about human dignity. They say that their way of life is being threatened, and they want to protect it for future generations.

The San Bushmen are not asking for special treatment; they are simply asking for their fundamental human rights. They want the right to live on their land, to hunt and gather for food, and to sustainably manage their resources. They also want the right to be consulted and included in decisions that affect their land and resources.

Botswana is a democratic country that prides itself on its commitment to human rights. However, the government’s treatment of the San Bushmen raises questions about its respect for indigenous peoples’ rights. The San Bushmen remain committed to their fight for land rights and continue to call on the government to recognize their rights as indigenous people.

FAQs Section

Q: Who are the San Bushmen?

A: The San Bushmen are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, with a history that dates back over 20,000 years. They have lived in harmony with nature, using their traditional hunting and gathering practices to sustain their way of life.

Q: Why are the San Bushmen fighting for land rights?

A: In the 1980s, the Botswana government forcibly relocated the San Bushmen from their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). The relocation was done in the name of conservation, as the government wanted to protect the endangered species in the reserve. The San Bushmen were promised that they could return to their land once the conservation efforts were complete, but this never happened. Since then, the San Bushmen have been fighting for their right to return to their land and to live sustainably.

Q: What is the current situation for the San Bushmen?

A: In 2006, the San Bushmen won a landmark case in Botswana’s high court, which allowed them to return to the CKGR. However, the government has continued to make it difficult for the San Bushmen to live on their land. The government restricts their access to water, refuses to issue hunting permits, and prevents them from building permanent dwellings. These restrictions make it impossible for the San Bushmen to sustain their traditional way of life.

Q: What can we do to support the San Bushmen?

A: You can support the San Bushmen by raising awareness about their cause, joining human rights and environmental groups that support their cause, and donating to organizations that work to protect indigenous peoples’ rights. You can also boycott companies that exploit the San Bushmen’s resources and demand that the Botswana government respect the San Bushmen’s rights.

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