Ogiek and Watha among 100,000
New supporters for the Bushmen
* Number of Bushmen supporters
climbs to 200,000
* Petition will be handed in in
Survival supporters around the
world are handing in a 100,000 signature petition to Botswana embassies and
consulates this week. The hand-in marks the second anniversary of the forced
relocation of hundreds of Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' from their ancestral land.
One year ago Survival presented the first 100,000 signatures to the Botswana
Amongst the supporters are a
delegation of Ogiek hunter-gatherers in Kenya. In a statement they say, 'the
heart of the Ogiek people goes out to our brothers and sisters the Gana and
Gwi Bushmen... Brothers and sisters: do not let your persecutors make you
forget who you are: no matter how far away from it you have been taken, the
land and life your forefathers gave you belong to you. Be strong! You will see
your land again!'
Petitions will be handed in in the
USA (Washington, Los Angeles and New York), Belgium, Germany, Japan, UK,
Switzerland, Kenya and South Africa. The petition calls on the government to
allow the Gana and Gwi to return to their ancestral land.
Stephen Corry, Director of
Survival said today, 'This unprecedented level of support shows just how
outraged international public opinion is about the Botswana government's
persecution of its indigenous people. Support for the campaign keeps on
growing, and will not end until the Bushmen are back on their land.'
Photos and footage of the other
protests available. For more information contact
Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email email@example.com
Ogiek and Watha delegetions in
front of the Botswana High Commission in Nairobi protested in solidarity with
the Gana and Gwi people against their eviciton from their ancestral land by
govern- mental greed and diamond interests.
19 January 2004
SOUTH AFRICA'S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE CONDEMN BUSHMAN EVICTIONS
Two organisations representing some of South Africa's indigenous peoples have
spoken out in support of the rights of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen' of Botswana
to return to their land.
The Northern Cape Khoisan Council said today, 'We support the campaign against
De Beers and the Botswana Government, to persuade the government to rescind
their decision to evict the Gwi, Gana and Bakgalagadi from the Central
Kalahari Game Reserve..... You also have the support of about thirteen Khoisan
organisations in the whole of South Africa to protest against this blatant
The Northern Cape Khoisan Council is an alliance of first people organisations
in the Northern Cape consisting of the San, Nama, Korana, Griqua and Cape Khoi
Motivation Community Development, another indigenous organisation, added, 'Like
our peoples, KhoiSan, Tswana, Sotho and other African peoples of South Africa,
we were dispossessed from our
lands by colonial forces. This dispossession resulted in the conditions we
live in today, so much poverty, depression, unemployment, addictions, crime
and violence and being unproductive......
Removal of the Gana, Gwi and Bakgalagadi Peoples from their land will do the
same to them as land dispossession did to us.... It makes no difference who
does the dispossessing.'
Indigenous peoples worldwide have expressed their solidarity with the Gana and
Gwi since they were evicted from their ancestral land in 2002. Representatives
of the Innu in Canada, the Ogiek in Kenya, the Yanomami in Brazil and the
Aborigines in Australia have strongly condemned the evictions.