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The Kingdom of Eswatini formerly (Swaziland), is once again on fire as we speak. The people of Eswatini took to the streets last Monday demonstrating against what they perceive as serious repression by the government of Eswatini which is refusing to open up democratic space in the tiny kingdom.

We at Media Review Network find it utterly reprehensible that the Kingdoms security services are acting with such heavy handedness to the demands being put forward by the pro-democracy citizens.

We condemn the ongoing security crackdown and express our outrage that people have been killed, injured and others detained without any legal basis whatsoever. Our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones.

We deplore the regimes high handed attacks and view it as an assault on democratic freedoms of the people of Eswatini who are demanding constitutional changes in the way they want to be governed.

King Mswati must see this as a warning to him and his cabal that its time up! Its either he grants the people their wishes, or he leaves the day to day running of government to an elected one and concentrate on his traditional role of “father of the nation”.

We call upon SADC to move with speed and resolve this issue before it goes out of hand. It’s a pity to note that there is no statement issued by SADC since these riots broke out last Monday. This is very irresponsible on the part of the regional body especially when its being reported that lives have been lost.

The South African government should exert maximum pressure on Eswatini to stop killing their own people and listen to the demands of its citizens. Perhaps its also time for South Africa to apply sanctions on the government of Eswatini who happen to be members of the “South African Customs Union” (SACU).

We call upon the AU, SADC, and the South African government in particular, to adopt a courageous stance by vehemently opposing this crackdown on the people of Eswatini’s democratic rights.

Issued by:

Dr. Mustafa Mheta

Senior Research Fellow/Head of Africa Desk

Media Review Network SA

076 804 5215