Botswana’s security forces are arresting and intimidating Bushmen for exercising the tribe’s legal right to live and hunt in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).
Survival International reports that a large group of police officers have set up a permanent camp close to the Bushmen community of Metsiamenong.
Police have made at least 5 arrests after finding hunted meat in the community.
Whilst the Bushmen are legally allowed to hunt inside the reserve, the government has made it impossible by unlawfully refusing to issue hunting permits.
One Bushman living inside the reserve said, ‘Since the arrests, the lives of the Bushman have changed significantly. The government has sent in armed forces to intimidate us, making our lives very difficult. We depend on the natural resources of the CKGR for our food. How are we expected to survive if we cannot hunt?’
Botswana’s High Court upheld the Bushmen’s rights to their land in 2006. In 2011, the Bushmen won the right to access water.
Government officials had sealed the tribe’s well in an effort to drive them from the reserve, resulting in the death of at least one tribeswoman.