Bushmen arrested in Botswana

Botswana police have arrested six Bushmen for hunting on their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the organisation Survival International said yesterday.

Botswana police have arrested six Bushmen for hunting on their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the organisation Survival International said yesterday.

This is despite a ruling by the country's high court last year that Bushmen had the right to live in the reserve, and the Botswana government was obliged to issue them with hunting permits, it said.

Survival International is a London-based organisation that campaigns for the rights of tribal people around the world.

It says following the discovery of diamonds in the area in the 1980s, a wave of evictions by the Botswana government forced the Gana and Gwi Bushmen from their lands in the Kalahari reserve.

Last year, the Bushmen won an historic legal victory when Botswana's High Court ruled that their eviction was "unlawful and unconstitutional".

The latest arrests follow 21 others for hunting in the reserve in June and July this year.

"Since the judgment, the government has continued to insist the Gana and Gwi do not have the right to hunt within the reserve.

"It has also refused to let the Bushmen use the water borehole on their land or bring their few goats back into the game reserve," the organisation said. - Sapa

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