Ex-Slave turned Slavers and their Foreign Masters are together in Joint Genocide against the First Peoples.
The migrating Tswana, a Bantu speaking people from West Africa invaded the lands of the Khoisan-speaking First Nations of Southern Africa already around 2000 years ago, bringing with them agriculture as well as mainly cattle and some goats as domestic livestock, which had been the lifelines for their expansionist success. While at first living in harmony with the aboriginal people, the San or Bushmen whom they call Basarwa and who remained steadfast in their hunter-gatherer culture, the SeTswana speaking BaTswana established for the first time territories in the 14th century based on an internal clan feud with three of their nine lineages evolving and claiming territory over the fertile agricultural and lush range-lands – thus pushing the Khoisan-speaking, aboriginal San to the less viable zones.
While the BaTswana then had to face what they had done to the Bushmen in form of invading Boers after 1820. At the Sand River Convention of 1852, Britain recognised the Transvaal’s independence and the Boers informed the BaTswana that they were now subjects of the South African Republic, to which the BaTswana responded hostile leading to the Boer wars until the end of the 19th century, whereby the British colonialist then played their divide and rule cards. The result was that the lands south of the Molopo River became the British Crown Colony of Bechuanaland and were attached to the Cape Colony, while the area north became the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland. The aboriginal first inhabitants of these vast and mineral rich lands were still earmarked to get lost and killed as vermin by all invaders. But the outbreak of viral foot-and-mouth disease in the 1880s and more importantly the 90s destroyed the economic lifeline of the BaTswana and the other settlers as well the natural wildlife base of the San. The virus had been introduced to Africa by settlers and their cattle from Europe, where the disease was recognized as a significant epidemic disease threatening the cattle industry since the sixteenth century with a major European outbreak in 1862. African Buffalo and antelope populations broke down and the Bushmen depending on them suffered like their livestock-breeding overlords from Europe and Africa. Of all those affected England had the richer resources at home and therefore prevailed in the power-struggle over the foreign territory.
In 1924, South Africa began pressing for Bechuanaland’s amalgamation into the Union of South Africa, and when the Tswana chiefs refused, economic sanctions destroyed what remained of their beef market. Overlord Britain persevered and when WWII broke out 10, 000 Tswana had to “volunteer” for the African Pioneer Corps to defend the British Empire and the rule of the crown continued to govern and exploit most of Southern Africa until the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 triggered political resistance. General elections were held in 1965 as a BaTswana affair and on 30 September 1966, the country, now called the Republic of Botswana, gained independence. The Bushmen, however, were not even considered.
When Botswana was then economically transformed by the discovery of diamonds near Orapa in 1967, the situation changed drastically for the now (mostly British-)educated class of the BaTswana, though the mining concession was given to De Beers and the returns never benefited the aboriginal people of the territory which is called today the Republic of Botswana.
Under the disguise of “conservation” – spearheaded by the British-mastered World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – the San / Bushmen were driven out of their lands and hunting grounds for outsiders to gain the upper hand in the rich diamond mining and the important water resources at what then was turned into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and the Boer-mastered Kgalagai Reserve. Today USAmerican Conservation International (CI) has joined these ranks and appears as stirrup holder for the fracking industry and the likes to drive the last San out of the these important lands under the pretext of creating a wildlife corridor between the two pseudo-protected areas. Both WWF and CI have major own investments in the oil-and-gas industry.
The Republic of Botswana is today home to over half (approximately 42,000) of all the surviving San in the region. After the foreign mastered genocides committed against the San in what is today Namibia by the Germans and in South-Africa by the Boers and the British, the government of Botswana has the whole duty to end these atrocities within their own boundaries.
Unfortunately the BaTswana are not only ignorant concerning the rights of the first peoples of the Southern Africa and the Kalahari, but are also ignorant concerning modern threats which target themselves. Therefore Botswana has still the highest HIV infection rate in the world, though statistics placed it sometimes at place number two. It was 38.5% of Botswana’s adult population on 4 June 2001 and according to a UN report, today 19% of all people and still 36% of young adults (aged 15 to 29) are currently infected. In most towns and cities the HIV-prevalence in pregnant women is over 40%. One of the reasons is also that gender based violence (GBV) is so abhorrently high. According to the UN almost 70% of women had experienced GBV at least once in their lifetime, and nearly 30% over the year 2010/2011. This also has a serious impact on the San population, where they are cramped into camps, provided with access to alcohol and kept in misery. While the last free-ranging bushmen bands are by far not so much affected, and HIV infections are as low as 3-4%, the targeted rape of the San/Bushmen-women/Basarwa is in Botswana as bad as in South-Africa, where under a “coloured policy” already denial that San / Bushmen would exist any longer has come up. This all is outrageous genocide.
The relationship between the BaTswana and the San/Bushmen ethnicities has declined from mutual and amicable coexistence, based on the gentleness of the San who never took up arms, through ignorance and outright neglect to straight oppression of the last bushmen populations. The international community is since long aware of this fact, but under Anglo-American masterminding has never done anything tangible to right the wrongs committed against the aboriginal San.
See the excellent work of Mira Dutschke and Jeffrey Barbee with Alliance Earth, who uncovered now that Natural Gas development has come to Southern Africa and is secretly operating in one of the most pristine places on the planet.
The documentary reveals that Botswana has granted lucrative licenses to companies such as Australian Tlou Energy and African Coal and Gas Corporation, without even consulting the Bushmen. While Botswana’s government has denied any fracking in Botswana, Tlou has already started drilling exploratory wells for coalbed methane on the traditional hunting territory of the Bushmen. Thereby the investigative journalists also could expose that the Botswana government is again blatantly lying through their teeth.
Observers also must not get confused if now certain groups would appear to stand on the side of the Bushmen as well as the uninformed BaTswana to fight off Australian and other industry interests in this fracking scam – such just might be smoke-screens to secure these rights for USAmerican and British stakeholders and interests. A critical test is to look for the use of the imperialist and derogatory term “tribe” while referring to genuine nations.
ALL THIS MUST END!
The members of the San / Bushmen First Nation never had subjected themselves to any form of subjugation and never agreed to or signed any treaty with the BaTswana overlords or their colonial masters, neither the Dutch/Boers, the British or the South Africans. The Bushmen never gave up their rights, which today have to be still respected and secured by the United Nations (UN) under the Convention on Indigenous Peoples Rights, if that body wants to maintain any credibility.
That the San / Bushmen were mistreated as subjects of the colonial British Crown and in succession today by the BaTswana mastered governances of the states Botswana, South Africa and Namibia calls for the most comprehensive investigation, the clear reconstitution of their rights and their full protection from the machinations of especially the Botswana government, including those at the helm of Botswana decision making, who now are set to destroy the natural lands. The international investors, be it in diamond or gold mining, the water or the energy sectors or in tourism and “conservation”, who all have contributed and are still contributing to this outright genocide committed against the very First Nation of this planet, must from now on not only be hindered and stopped, but severely punished if they continue to transgress and foster these appalling human rights violations. Botswana’s MoTswana President, Ltd.Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama (or Ian a Sêrêtsê), who as head of state as well as head of government also has the Executive Power, must be held responsible for the policy against the San / Bushmen and must now be tried for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He even stoops so low as to withhold and confiscate passports from the First People of the Kalahari to avert their attendance at UN Geneva meetings and to bear witness to the genocide. (vf)
JOIN the already running Diamond and Tourism Boycott targeting the governance of the Republic of Botswana and their representatives as well as their foreign investors.
Don’t buy the blood diamonds.
Don’t spend your tourism dollar in Botswana and tell the Botswana Government as well as their British and USAmerican henchmen to keep their fingers off the water and energy sectors – especially to abstain from any fracking exercises.
Genocide through fake Environmentalism – The Case Of Africa – YouTube
Botswana faces questions over licences for fracking companies in Kalahari
Botswana has been accused of sacrificing the Kalahari, one of the world’s most precious wildlife reserves, to commercial fracking while ignoring the concerns of environmentalists and communities who could lose access to scarce water.
Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, for the production of gas is the subject of fierce debate in America, Britain, South Africa and countries around the world, with green activists warning that it degrades land and pollutes air and water.
Yet for more than a decade, Botswana, lauded as one of Africa‘s most stable democracies, has been quietly granting lucrative licences to international companies to carry out fracking in the fragile Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).
Some observers believe this is the most likely reason for President Ian Khama’s government fighting court battles to prevent the Kalahari Bushmen, also known as the San, from returning to their ancestral land. The government denies this and says the prospecting under way should not be defined as fracking.
Keikabile Mogodu, an advocate for San rights, said: “We have heard nothing. We are in the dark. If fracking is done in the areas where people are, consultations should be done. The companies should talk to the people but nothing has been done. We are trying to follow it up with the ministry because fracking is dangerous and is going to destroy the balance of the ecosystem – it should be a debate in the media.”
The CKGR is the second biggest wildlife reserve in the world, spanning 52,800 sq km. Energy companies that have raced for a share in recent years include the Australian-based Tamboran Resources and Debswana, a joint venture between the government and the diamond company De Beers.
The Bushmen said they had no idea their areas had been earmarked for drilling until they were shown a map during the making of a new documentary film, The High Cost Of Cheap Gas, revealing that half the game reserve has been allocated to multinationals. Seranne Junner, a lawyer who successfully defended the Bushmen’s right to occupy their traditional lands within the CKGR, expressed surprise at the extent of land concessions.
“I personally do not know of any or much public awareness on this aspect within Botswana at least,” she said. “I know there’s quite a lot of public awareness relating to the fracking that’s ongoing or that is trying to be implemented in the Karoo area in South Africa but as for Botswana, I would be interested to know how many of our population on the ground is aware – and government departments themselves are aware – of the consequences of these ongoing activities.”
She warned: “These licences may have been granted without anybody realising the long-term consequences … Water is not a resource that is overly abundant in Botswana as a whole, more especially within an area such as the CKGR. I would say it’s going to be extremely far-reaching for a sector of our population, if not the whole country.”
The Kalahari’s ecosystem is at particular risk because it contains coal bed methane, which requires water to be pumped out of the ground. This increases the danger of pollution and lowering the water table, potentially by hundreds of feet, which could cost a community its access to water – already a scarce resource in Botswana.
Some 30,000-60,000 elephants range through the north of the country, the biggest population of elephants left in Africa, and they are dependent upon water drawn from the ground from boreholes. Ben Moeler, a farmer near Nata, expressed concern that the boreholes could become contaminated by gas prospecting.
“Here in this area these elephants bank on those boreholes,” he said. “From us throughout to Chobe it’ll be a huge, huge disaster for the area. I just hope it never happens in my life.”
The waste water pulled out of the coal seam during fracking is potentially lethal to humans and animals. In an interview before his death earlier this year, Randy Udall, an American energy analyst, said: “They call it produced water – you can just as easily call it poisoned water. It’s toxic as hell, it would kill you if you drank any quantity of it, it will kill birds, it will kill cattle. So this is poisonous stuff.”
One of the companies operating in Botswana revealed that environmental regulations are not being followed. Steve Boden, unconventional gas development manager of South African energy giant Sasol, said: “We weren’t required to do an environmental management plan for it but in our opinion it’s best practice that we do.”
The dewatering of a coal seam during fracking has the potential to lower the water table, Boden admitted. “It’s a dry, semi-arid environment and they [the local community] are quite reliant on that water, so we have to be cognisant of those things.”
Yet Sasol has significant ambitions in Botswana. “In terms of a coal bed methane commercial development on a large scale, you know you’re looking at thousands of gas wells. Obviously through the life of a project not all of those will be operating so you may have over, I don’t know, a 3,000 km area where you might be running 2,500 gas wells at any one time.”
Despite the scale of the plans, a lack of publicity and media scrutiny has enabled the government to forge ahead unchecked. Dr Benson Modie, who drafted the first official report on natural gas development in Botswana and oversaw the drilling of the first exploration wells, conceded: “There has always been that possibility that we are going to pollute the environment.”
Asked if the CKGR’s ecosystem, which has supported communities for centuries, is a price worth paying for natural gas from fracking, Modie replied: “If you have country like this and the population is growing and you have a government that has to make decisions for all people of that country, some decisions like that will be made.”
But the government, often hailed as a beacon of democracy in southern Africa, disputed the definition of fracking. Its spokesman, Jeff Ramsay, said: “There is currently no fracking in the CKGR or anywhere else in the country. Coal bed methane is being prospected in the country, though there are no current commercial operations. Still not clear whether commercially viable or not, though a number of companies have shown interest.”
He added: “Coal bed methane prospecting in the country is being carried out by drilling, not fracking. Environmental impact assessments and management plans are a legal requirement for all mining in our country.
“Any future proposal for a licence for commercial fracking in this country would certainly be subject to vigorous debate, whether in a game reserve or anywhere else.”
Drillers interviewed on site in Botswana specifically referred to their operations as “fracking” and vehicles and equipment typically used for fracking could be seen.
Richard Lee, communications manager at the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, said: “This encapsulates everything that is wrong with natural resource extraction in southern Africa – the secrecy, the lack of consultation with affected communities, the weak regulatory systems, and the elite collusion between governments and companies at the expense of the people.
“The Batswana have the right to know about developments on this scale and to decide whether they are in their best interest. Instead, the authorities keep everyone in the dark, particularly the San, who now face another grave threat to their future from Botswana’s secret dash for gas.”
Stout defenders of the Bushmen / San can join the struggle by writing to africanode[at]ecoterra.net
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