BOTSWANA: Rights group cites World Bank involvement; evidence of diamond mining plans on Bushmen’s territory

Survival International this week reported that the International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank, has approved a $2 million loan for Kalahari Diamonds Limited for its project to conduct diamond exploration on ancestral Bushmen land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Gana and Gwi Bushmen have been evicted from their homes in the Reserve and settled in dismal camps on its edge, and refused permission to return. Survival claims that the government has granted many more diamond exploration concessions since the evictions were carried out. Maps of the new concessions from Botswana’s Department of Geological Survey are available at Survival’s website. Meanwhile the European Union has inexplicably gone back on its previous decision to withhold funding for the Reserve’s management plan; apparently the EU now supports Botswana’s harsh policies towards the Bushmen.