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Boycott Botswana Diamonds & Help Kalahari Bushmen in Other Ways

Survival International Activist Boycotting Botswana Diamonds at De Beers in London

We’ve covered the unfair plight of the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana in a couple posts on Important Media recently. In order to help address the human rights battle being held in Botswana right now, Survival International (in coordination with notable celebrities like Gillian Anderson, Quentin Blake, Joanna Lumley, Sophie Okonedo, and Mark Rylance) has been advocating for a boycott of Botswana diamonds recently. What have diamonds got to do with it? Survival International writes:

In 2002, the Bushmen were illegally evicted from their ancestral lands to make way for diamond mining. At the time, the government denied a significant diamond deposit on their land existed. However, eight years later, Gem Diamonds, which bought the concession from De Beers, is in negotiations to construct a $3.3 billion mine at one of the Bushman communities.

While Gem Diamonds, in which jewellers Graff has a stake, pushes forward with its mine, the Bushmen are being starved off their lands. Despite winning a high-profile legal battle allowing them to return home, the Bushmen have been banned by the Botswana government from using a well which they rely on for water, and are prevented from hunting for food.

At the same time as denying the Bushmen access to their well, the government drilled new ones for wildlife only, with funding from the Tiffany & Co Foundation. It also allowed ‘ethical’ travel company,Wilderness Safaris, to open a luxury tourist lodge on Bushman land, complete with bar and swimming pool.

Survival’s director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘Botswana’s diamond industry is the ‘Siamese twin’ of the government. People should know that far from being an expensive token of eternal love, Botswana diamonds are a symbol of the nasty oppression of southern Africa’s first people’.

Activists Boycotting Botswana Diamonds at de Beers in London

Survival coordinated a protest at De Beers, which is partly owned by the Botswana government, in London in early November and also brought a letter to the San Francisco De Beers on the same day.

What can you do to help?

Survival is encouraging you to:

  1. Boycott tourism to Botswana
  2. Not buy diamonds from De Beers
  3. Donate to Survival to help it continue its work on this matter

Help the Kalahari Bushmen of Botswana in whatever way you can today.

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Photo Credits: © Survival




3 comments
  1. Mbo

    So to you it makes sense that the more than eight other tribes and 1.7 million people in Botswana should suffer because you and S.I are justifying your existence to your donors by encouraging this boycott? Are the rights of other Batswana subordinate to the rights of the “bushmen?” The negotiation process presently on between the “bushmen” and their government is of no importance to self-serving so called rights groups? Who has appointed you and S.I the paragon of rights in Africa? It’s a racist mindset that says Africans cannot resolve their own issues and need to be whipped into line by self-proclaimed know-it-all outsiders. After centuries of white oppression, it’s a sick irony that European outsiders should now claim to be the saviours of black minorities…and that to the detriment of other equally black and equally indigenous Africans. The democratically-elected Botswana government will do the job right…that’s what it has been elected for.

      1. Motswana.

        do u really know why this people are moved from the land? let me tell you, 1. the area is a game reserve which we are trying to reserve our animals.
        2. the government will be disturbing the eco system of the area.
        i can go on the whole way but this is not due to racial believe because us Batswana we do not have any racial problems wit any1 every1 is welcome. Again the government want to bring development to its people(bushmen) which we can not do that in a game reserve.boycotting against Botswana diamonds is very unnecessary because we mine our diamonds in different areas….

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