By Ian Taylor, Gladys Mokhawa
It has been stated that diamonds are Botswana’s ally, yet with the
rise of the ‘conflict diamonds’ factor in overseas politics, spurred on in
the major via non-governmental enterprises, Botswana has felt compelled
to pass at the offensive to cajole the diamond-buying public that its
diamonds are ‘clean’ and bonafide. This ‘Diamonds for Development’
project has in contemporary months been one of many major planks of Botswana’s
foreign coverage. even if, a parallel NGO crusade round the factor of the
San Bushmen has emerged that, in line with perceptions linking diamonds
to the elimination of the San from their houses, threatens Gaborone’s image
as a manufacturer of ‘clean’ diamonds.1 this text makes an attempt to provide an explanation for the
dynamics at the back of those concerns at the moment bedevilling Botswana’s
relations with the skin world.
African Affairs (2003), 102, 261–283.
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Extra resources for Not Forever: Botswana, Conflict Diamonds and the Bushmen
Fairly, it appeared that, as one neighborhood author placed it, ‘the perspective of presidency supplies me the effect that as the Basarwa are a “minor” crew, disorganised, with out nice effect, backward (as executive implies), [and] will not be an important vote casting inhabitants, they are often simply tossed round with out due regard to their emotions or aspirations’. sixty seven on the other hand, it was once introduced in overdue January 2003 that the govt. of Botswana was once to permit a diamond exploration undertaking on prospecting licences within the CKGR. A briefing rfile in this undertaking admits that, ‘The key environmental and social factor is that nearly one 3rd of the exploration license parts lie in the relevant Kalahari and Khutse video game Reserves which are controlled conservation components with an linked indigenous inhabitants of San Bushmen. The Botswana govt perspectives the sport Reserves as components during which mine exploration and improvement is allowable’68 [emphasis added]. sixty four. The mum or dad, 20 June 1998. sixty five. Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone), 1 February 2002. sixty six. actually, prospecting job has been deserted round Gope when you consider that no commercially exploitable mineral deposit has been chanced on there. sixty seven. Botswana Gazette (Gaborone), 29 may well 2002. sixty eight. overseas Finance company ‘Kalahari Diamond undertaking: precis of undertaking Information’, 2003. no longer perpetually: BOTSWANA, clash DIAMONDS AND THE BUSHMEN 279 the matter for Botswana is that transnational NGOs have loads of strength in launching and advancing campaigns, really within the West if emotive matters are being promoted and perceptions concretized as ‘facts’. The British-based NGO, Survival overseas, used to be fairly lively in propagating this, linking it to ‘a deeply racist view of the Bushmen, whom high-ranking ministers have defined as “primitive” and “stone-age creatures” ’. sixty nine This NGO explicitly associated the removing of the San from the CKGR to the Diamonds for improvement crusade: The President of Botswana used to be in Britain final month to advertise Botswana’s diamond mining undefined, with the slogan ‘Diamonds for Development’. besides the fact that, diamonds may perhaps suggest dying for the Bushmen who stay within the mineral wealthy valuable Kalahari video game Reserve. If the critical executive approves the district council’s determination, it will damage the Bushmen groups within the Reserve. 70 certainly, launching a letter-writing crusade in aid of the Bushmen’s rights, Survival’s Director basic, Stephen Corry, asserted that ‘the executive of Botswana’s outrageous and unlawful therapy of its Bushmen this present day makes a mockery of its declare that its diamonds are “clean” ’. seventy one Survival’s crusade (of linking the removing of the San to Botswana’s diamonds) used to be basically designed to place strain on Gaborone to halt the removals through drumming up public opinion for its campaign. Linking the assumption of clash diamonds to the location within the CKGR used to be rather logical from its strategic standpoint. In reaction, the govt. of Botswana has been relatively intransigent, intolerant and chauvinistic.