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UK MPs support Bushmen

24 November 2003

A motion signed by 42 MPs urges the UK government to encourage Botswana to respect the rights of Botswana’s Bushmen. In February, the IFC approved $2 million in support of Kalahari Diamonds Limited to explore for diamonds in the Bushmen’s traditional lands. After a 15-year campaign of persecution, most remaining Bushmen were evicted from their homes in February 2002, though around 100 are still holding out. The companies involved insist that there is no link between the evictions and their diamond interests. However, Botswana’s Foreign Minister Gen Mompati Merafhe, during a talk at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies in October, admitted that his government had relocated the Bushmen to “where we want them to be”.