By Ian Taylor, Gladys Mokhawa
It has been acknowledged that diamonds are Botswana’s ally, yet with the
rise of the ‘conflict diamonds’ factor in overseas politics, spurred on in
the major by means of non-governmental agencies, Botswana has felt compelled
to cross 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. despite the fact that, a parallel NGO crusade round the factor of the
San Bushmen has emerged that, in response to perceptions linking diamonds
to the removing 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 in the back of those matters at present bedevilling Botswana’s
relations with the skin world.
African Affairs (2003), 102, 261–283.
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Additional resources for Not Forever: Botswana, Conflict Diamonds and the Bushmen
Notwithstanding, while Gaborone’s overseas coverage used to be, at the one hand, attempting to have interaction with one campaign concentrated round diamonds and the hazard this posed to the country’s health and wellbeing, the govt. later needed to begin protecting itself from one other NGO-led crusade. It was once this curious reality that referred to as into query in a few minds the very concept of Botswana’s ‘clean diamonds’. Conflict-free diamonds? President Mogae explicitly asserted that ‘Botswana diamonds have constantly been clash free’. 38 in spite of the fact that, when Botswana used to be actively pursuing a campaign to counter what it perceived can be the unfavourable side-effects of the anti-conflict diamonds crusade, its personal credentials as a purveyor of ‘clean diamonds’ got here more and more lower than assault. This feedback of Botswana by means of numerous NGOs truly grew to become the Diamonds for improvement undertaking round opposed to the govt in Gaborone and used the various exact same rhetoric deployed via the Botswana executive to bash its tune 36. assertion via H. E. Festus Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana, at a ‘Diamonds for improvement’ reception, 29 March 2001, in London. 37. assertion via H. E. Festus Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana, at a VIP reception hosted to release the Diamonds for improvement crusade, Washington, DC, 20 June 2001. 38. Quoted from ‘President Mogae discusses Diamonds for improvement, ‘Botswana’s President speaks at nationwide Press membership, 19 June 2001’, http://usinfo. nation. gov/topical/pol/ terror/01062522. htm 274 AFRICAN AFFAIRS list. The checklist less than assault was once (and is on the time of writing) the perceived remedy of the Kalahari’s first population, the San. certainly, the full strategy surrounding the Diamonds for improvement crusade concerned an exciting instance wherein an African nation appealed to the foreign group for aid yet in doing so opened itself as much as sustained feedback. In essence, by way of selling Botswana as a haven of ‘clean diamonds’, the rustic additionally attracted undesirable awareness to what a few observed as a dismal aspect to its developmental list — truly an accidental outcome of Gaborone’s ‘going public’ on its diamonds. even if the remedy of the San in Botswana has lengthy been a debatable topic,39 within the context of the Diamonds for improvement crusade and the posturing of Gaborone as a manufacturer of ‘clean diamonds’ the flow via the govt to terminate provides of water and different easy social providers to the rest San within the valuable Kalahari online game Reserve (CKGR) excited profound foreign curiosity and controversy, with candlelit vigils being held outdoor Botswana diplomatic workplaces out of the country. Protests opposed to the Botswana govt have been introduced in London, Paris, Madrid and Milan through a London-based NGO, Survival overseas, in February 2002. while, questions have been requested within the British residence of Lords concerning the therapy of the San in Botswana. considering that then, nearly each time a executive minister from Botswana has travelled in a foreign country, he has been faced by way of both protests and/or questions on the therapy of the San.