Monday, June 12, 2006

MOUNTAIN GORILLAS - How the Batwa were driven out of the forest to 'save' the gorilla

The East African Magazine has an article here on the Batwa people, evicted from the Virunga forest, about 30 Batwa families are virtual slaves of Hutu and Tutsi farmers.
On the edge of the park, in huts scattered along cultivated hills, live some of Rwanda's forgotten community, the Batwa. They once inhabited the forests of the Virunga Mountains, but by the 1970s, after legislation outlawed hunting and gathering and introduced national parks, the Batwa communities were driven off their ancestral lands.

Today, there are about 130 Batwa families living in this area. Most have become beggars or landless labourers working for their Hutu and Tutsi neighbours for less than $1 a day.