Bushmen's letter to president

Published: Tuesday 15 January 2008

On the first anniversary of a historic court judgment, the Bushman organization First People of the Kalahari released an open letter to Botswana President Festus Mogae, detailing the ways in which the government is still preventing them from returning to their ancestral land. On December 13, 2006, the Bushmen won the right to return to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, from which they were evicted in 2002. Their right to hunt on their land was also recognized.

In the letter, the Bushmen write that they are not allowed to use the water borehole on their land, nor are they allowed to hunt, and many of them require visitors' permits to enter the reserve. The letter requests the government to properly investigate incidents of torture, beating and harassment of Bushmen living in one of the resettlement camps outside the game reserve.

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