Displaced to settlement camps over the decade, allegedly so Botswana could preserve the land and its wildlife within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), many of the Bushmen succumbed to starvation, AIDS/HIV and alcoholism. Others banded together with activists including the Archbishop Desmond Tutu behind a civil rights case that went to court originally in 2002.
The Bushmen published a Web site, iwant2gohome.org with photos and pleas for the return of their land.
Many believe that the real reason the bushmen were forced out was corporate pressure from diamond mining giant De Beers. Several international celebs began publicizing the story of a 20,000-year-old hunter-gatherer tribe forced against their will to flee their land and assimilate.
In September, the bushmen published an ad appealing to Leonardo DiCaprio to take a stand for their rights after he filmed Blood Diamond, depicting the murderous diamond trade of Sierra Leone. Later, the L.A. Times joined the De Beers-bashing.
For more on the Kalahari Bushmen and today’s court decision: BBC News (w/ video and photos).
image from David!!!!!s flickr