Not Forever: Botswana, Conflict Diamonds and the Bushmen

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 foreign politics, spurred on in
the major via non-governmental firms, Botswana has felt compelled
to pass at the offensive to cajole the diamond-buying public that its
diamonds are ‘clean’ and legit. This ‘Diamonds for Development’
project has in contemporary months been one of many major planks of Botswana’s
foreign coverage. besides the fact that, 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 give an explanation for the
dynamics at 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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The assembly mandated the UN defense Council to move a answer, to be recommended by way of the overall meeting, to install position a collection of legally binding exchange mechanisms to make sure that tough diamonds 28. ‘Joint solution, international Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and overseas Diamond brands Association’, Antwerp, 19 July 2000. now not eternally: BOTSWANA, clash DIAMONDS AND THE BUSHMEN 271 may in destiny be exported in sealed boxes followed through a certificates of beginning. 29 lately, at a Kimberley method ministerial assembly held in Interlaken, Switzerland on five November 2002, fifty two governments resolved to enforce the Kimberley approach on 1 January 2003. This assembly required all partaking states to enforce diamond keep an eye on platforms to avoid clash diamonds from coming into the valid worldwide industry. Botswana was once one of many nations attending and is hence enforcing the method as of January 2003. maybe it was once becoming that the assembly that culminated within the ultimate communiqué from the Kimberley approach must have taken position within the capital of a rustic profoundly involved within the entire clash diamonds factor and the results that this crusade may have for its monetary wellbeing and fitness. it truly is to the reaction of Botswana to this improvement that we now flip. Botswana’s ‘diamonds for improvement’ crusade even though Botswana performed an energetic position within the Kimberley approach visà-vis clash diamonds, Gaborone has whilst expressed profound drawback that the will to halt the unlawful exchange in diamonds in different African international locations may well negatively influence upon Botswana’s personal diamond undefined. Its maximum situation was once that any laws handed on clash diamonds may cross as far as to prevent valid revenues or — and this appeared a specific fear of Gaborone — that the NGOs spearheading the crusade could mount a disastrous (for Botswana) purchaser crusade opposed to all diamonds from Africa. Botswana’s international coverage in this ranking was once two-fold: it supported foreign regulations on clash diamonds, when stressing that its personal diamonds have been fresh. President Mogae under pressure that ‘Botswana helps foreign efforts to outlaw clash diamonds, as we think a unmarried clash diamond is one too many [but] Botswana diamonds have continually been clash unfastened . . . the great that diamonds do for nations like Botswana has to be well-known and never jeopardized. ’30 This place used to be shared via either Namibia and South Africa. certainly, it's going to be famous that either nations supported Botswana’s crusade and thought of it as a joint venture to protect the integrity of not just Gaborone’s, but in addition Windhoek and Pretoria’s, diamond exports. 31 The mining was once quickly to help the Diamonds for improvement crusade, cautious of any over-spill from the valid anti-conflict diamonds crusade to a state of affairs the place all African diamonds are branded as soiled. ‘These issues can get uncontrolled as 29. Botswana Gazette (Gaborone), five December 2001. 30. day-by-day information (Gaborone), 20 June 2001.

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