Africa Contact meet with Danish Foreign Ministry on Swaziland
July 1, 2010 4 Comments
Representatives from Danish organization Africa Contact had a meeting with the Danish Foreign Ministry‘s Head of Section for the Department for Africa and Desk Officer on the 23rd of June to discuss the recent developments in Swaziland.
Africa Contact informed the two civil servants of the recent developments in Swaziland as seen through the eyes of Africa Contact’s partner organizations, namely that political activity in Swaziland had become a practical impossibility, that the Swazi regime had conducted multiple more or less arbitrary arrests of democracy movement activists, and that the regime was trying to brand the entire democratic movement terrorists. Africa Contact therefore asked the Danish Foreign Ministry to increase the pressure on the Swazi regime. There were many ways that such pressure could be applied, both by directly informing the regime of their misgivings regarding the blatant human rights violations of the regime, but also less directly by e.g. having Danish or EU diplomats observe political trials involving democracy activists.
The two representatives from the Danish Foreign Ministry conceded that Swaziland was not a high priority for the Danish Foreign Ministry. The view of the Danish government seemed to be that the Danish government’s activities on Swaziland were mostly carried out together with the European Union, and that the European Union were becoming increasingly active in regards to Swaziland. Not having a Danish embassy in Swaziland impeded any activities that they might want to implement by themselves, they conceded, although they insisted that the embassy in Pretoria tried to keep themselves updated on the situation in Swaziland.