Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ethnic Cleansing in the Kalahari

Most of the Bushmen living in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve have been forced out of their homes by the government in an effort to end human habitation of the reserve.

Activist groups claim that Bushmen villages have been cut off from their main soruces of food and water and outsiders prohibited from entering to provide relief for the past six weeks. Last weekend most of the remaining residents were trucked out at gunpoint.

The government denies that anyone was forced to leave, claiming that the area had been quarantined because of a disease affecting goats kept by the Bushmen. But spokesmen for the Bushman hotly deny this claim. Outside observers have prohibited from enter to observe conditions.

Once populating most of Southern Africa, Bushmen were hunted to near extinction by both by Black and White immigrants to the region; in the end driving them back to the nearly inhabitable Kalahari Desert.

Some 2,000 Bushmen lived in the Kalahari Game Reserve before the government began forced removal campaigns in 1997. Now an estimated two dozen remain.


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