Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Discrimination and dependence - the plight of the San in Angola

"The end of Angola's civil war allowed the researchers to cover 2,500 km in the southern provinces of Huila, Cunene and Kuando Kubango in 2003. They braved landmines, destroyed bridges and impassable dirt tracks to interview 43 San communities. Another 28 were unreachable by road. In some areas, sympathetic soldiers alerted the researchers to tiny San settlements and the safe routes to reach them. The size of groups varied between family units of 6 to 10 individuals and larger villages of 230 people. Since colonial times and throughout Angola's 27-year civil war, the Angolan San have been invisible, forgotten and abused. No longer. For the first time since independence in 1975, a study tracks their numbers (roughly 3,600), describes their situation and offers recommendations for a better future.'' 
 This study was undertaken by the commissioned by the Irish Catholic Agency for World Development (TROCAIRE/Angola), the Namibia-based Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) and the Angolan NGO, Organizacao Crista de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Comunitario (OCADEC). It is now almost 10 years since the study and a lot of water has run into the Okovango Delta since then. We can assume that a lot has changed but also that a lot most probably is still the same. Nevertheless the study has established that the San communities in Angola still exists, that the communities are dispersed over a large area and like elsewhere they are facing extreme hardship. A copy of the report can be requested from DLIST


Map Source: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE STATUS OF THE SAN IN SOUTH AFRICA, ANGOLA, ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE - Legal Assistance Centre Windhoek 2001


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