Letter: Plight of the Bushmen

Sir: Caitlin Davies' difficulties in Botswana, following her concern at the forced removal of the Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), should come as no surprise to seasoned observers of Botswana ("Botswana drops case against British journalist", 26 May).

Survival has been campaigning for the land rights of the Botswanan Bushmen for 10 years now. In that time the government of Bostwana has exhibited a marked reluctance to acknowledge the rights of the Bushmen to their land and way of life. When the government started the eviction of the Bushmen from the CKGR, it assured its critics that no one would be forced to move. Yet force and coercion was used to move some 600 people. Now only 200 to 400 still remain inside the CKGR, resolute in their refusal to leave.

Though it has a reputation for being an open, democratic country, Botswana remains a place where the persecution and marginalisation of the Bushmen is a day-to-day reality.

RICHARD GARSIDE

Press Officer, Survival

London WC1

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