Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Displaced San: "This beer will finish us"

KAUDWANE, Botswana: A group of San people driven from their ancestral hunting grounds by the Botswana government find little to do in their resettlement camp in the Kalahari desert but drink fermented barley beer.

“I suffer here. I want to go home, where I know where to find plants to eat and eland to hunt,” said 61-year-old Letshwao Nagayame, one of the displaced village elders (Reuters photo). “Here all we do is drink — this beer, it will finish us.”

The San (often called "Bushmen") charge that they were driven off their lands in order to make way for diamond mining. Their appeal is before Botswana's high court. More. Nagayame charges that last year he was beaten and tortured for hunting on the land his people had occupied for more than 20,000 years. Source.

P.S. December 14: The Botswana Supreme Court ruled 2-1 today that the San could return to their homelands. Source.

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