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  HOME PAGE 27/11/2021 17:25 
19.10.2021 03:27 News >> Pro-Democracy Protests Escalate In Eswatini

Pro-Democracy Protests Escalate In Eswatini

Demonstrators demand democratic reforms in Africa's last absolute monarchy.

Pro-democracy protests continued Monday in parts of Eswatini, Africa's last absolute monarchy, with demonstrators barricading roads to discourage motorists and people heading to work.
Shops were also forced to close in the kingdom's two main cities of Manzini and Mbabane.
Nombulelo Motsa, president of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, urged nationals to unite and speak with one voice against the monarchy's alleged dictatorial rule.
"We are suffering as a nation. Seventy percent of our people are living below the poverty line," she said, adding they are prepared to sacrifice their lives and suffer once and for all to be liberated from King Mswati III's rule.
Protesters are also demanding the release of two members of parliament arrested recently for being at the forefront of calls for democratic reforms.
Riots first broke out four months ago in the tiny southern African kingdom with youths demanding political reforms including the lifting of a ban on political parties, freedom of expression and an end to King Mswati's rule.
They claim that the current royal political system has failed to meet the needs of the poor and instead only enriches the king and his family.
The 53-year-old king ascended the throne 35 years ago. He is accused of leading a lavish lifestyle and treating opponents harshly.
Motsa said the masses were tired and cannot afford to live under Mswati's oppression all their lives.
Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini announced in a statement that all schools will remain shut with immediate effect as a result of the protests.
Commerce Minister Manqoba Khumalo told a media briefing Monday that the ongoing protests and attacks on businesses will leave more Swazis jobless and called for restraint.
"We would like to appeal to all Swazis to discourage this behavior and reiterate that there is no room for such anarchy in our society," he said. -



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