Send Swazi king and his wives home from Royal wedding

“It is a disgrace that the British Monarchy has invited Swaziland’s King Mswati to attend today’s Royal wedding,” says Information Officer of Danish solidarity organization Africa Contact, Morten Nielsen. “They should send Swaziland’s king and his many wives home.”

Today’s Royal wedding is an event that will be broadcast to billions of viewers around the world, and inviting brutal despots such as Swaziland’s absolute monarch, King Mswati II, and his 13 wives, will be seen as a recognition of their international legitimacy by the Swazi regime. Read more of this post

FNs Sikkerhedsråds dobbeltmoral i ny resolution om Vestsahara

 FNs Sikkerhedsråds resolution 1979, der for første gang anerkender behovet for at forbedre menneskerettighedssituationen i det besatte Vestsahara, blev i går enstemmigt vedtaget. Resolutionen nævnte ”dialog” og ”forhandlinger” som vejen frem for at løse konflikten i Vestsahara, men undlader at give FNs mission i Vestsahara, Minurso, mulighed for at monitere menneskerettighedssituationen i Vestsahara, selvom både Sydafrika og Nigeria, Vestsaharas befrielsesfront Polisario, samt adskillige Vestlige solidaritetsorganisationer, herunder Afrika Kontakt, havde krævet dette, og selvom blandt andet Amnesty International og Human Rights Watch mange gange har påvist grove menneskerettighedskrænkelser begået af Marokko i Vestsahara. Read more of this post

The case for Western Saharan independence

Western Sahara, Africa’s last colony, is perhaps the most clear-cut case for independence in the world today. It is unfortunately also one of the lesser known conflicts. Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975, when a weakened Spain, anxious to avoid military confrontation, had secretly relinquished Western Sahara to Morocco (and Mauritania, who left its part of Western Sahara to Morocco in 1979) in exchange for mining and fishing concessions. As an illegal occupying force, Morocco has no right to the territory of Western Sahara, and nor has it the right to sell Western Sahara’s natural resources or violate the human rights of its citizens, but must instead work towards the a referendum on the status of Western Sahara. So international law fully supports the Saharawis’ claim to independence for Western Sahara. Read more of this post

Danish NGO calls for release of Maxwell Dlamini

Danish NGO Africa Contact calls for the immediate release of President of the Swaziland National Union of Students, Maxwell Dlamini, who has been tortured by Swazi police and forced to sign a statement admitting possession of explosives, and for “a swift and inclusive process of democratisation, that also ensures economic redistribution and socio-economic justice for all Swazis,” in a press release today.

Africa Contact refers to Maxwell Dlamini as a political prisoner, and calls the charges against him “ridiculous” and “in all probability fabricated.” Read more of this post

International community must act now to stop Swazi regime’s brutality

“We will not give in; but our just cause does not benefit from an international community that sacrifices the Swazi people on the altar of silence and shameless indifference,” says Sikelela Dlamini, Project Coordinator of the Swaziland United Democratic Front.

Sikelela Dlamini is talking about the general beatings, injustices and intimidation that is a daily feature of the absolute monarchy that is Swaziland. But he is also talking specifically about the brutal clamp-down on the last weeks mass protests, that saw peaceful democracy advocates indiscriminately detained and brutalized. Read more of this post

Afrika Kontakt generalforsamling: Fornyelse og sammenhængskraft

2011Afrika Kontakt afholdt den årlige generalforsamling torsdag den 14 april. Her var de overordnede temaer især den politiske strategi, med de mål som ”Strategi 2013” har for sammenhængskraften mellem Afrika Kontakts overordnede strategi, taktik, og det operationelle niveau, og Afrika Kontakts fokus på især Swaziland, Vestsahara og Zimbabwe i fremtiden.

Afrika Kontakts forkvinde, Signe Bjerre, fokuserede i sin formandstale på netop disse emner, og pointerede, at mange af målene i de tidligere strategiske overvejelser i foreningen var taktiske og derfor ikke langtrækkende nok, og at ”Strategi 2013” gjorde op med dette. Read more of this post

Swazi youth leaders tortured during mass protests

Two Swazi youth leaders have been charged for allegedly possessing explosives that Swazi police claim were to be used for acts of terrorism during the recent mass demonstrations for democracy, rule of law and socio-economic justice in Swaziland. But the confessions to this alleged crime were made after they had been tortured, according to the Swaziland Solidarity Network.

Maxwell Dlamini is president of Swaziland’s student organization SNUS, and had already been arrested prior to the main day of protest, April 12, but was released before being re-arrested and charged. Musa Ngubeni, is a member of the youth wing of Swaziland’s largest banned opposition party, PUDEMO. Read more of this post

Swazi regime’s end is near, says democratic movement

“Technically, the demonstrations are over, but from a political viewpoint they are not,” the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice’s Thamsanca Tsabedze says. He is talking about the April 12 “uprising” in Swaziland, for which his organisation, that aims to build a mass-based democratic force through civic education on democracy and rights, has played an important part in making possible by its relentless consciousness-building. Read more of this post

Maxwell Dlamini and Swazi uprising frontpage news in Denmark

Although the Swazi uprising has been covered extensively in newspapers and other media outlets around the world, until now the Danish media has acted more or less as if the uprising wasn’t happening (with the exception of the Danish Broadcasting Cooperation (Danmarks Radio) and Jyllandsposten who have both briefly touched upon it).

Today, however, Arbejderen (The Worker) has put Swazi student leader, Maxwell Dlamini, on the front page.

Read an unofficial translation of the original article below:

The Police took Maxwell two days ago

Arbejderen (The Worker) front page, 14 April 2011

Student leader Maxwell Dlamini, and many other activists in Swaziland, in Southern  Africa, are campaigning against the absolute monarch Mswati III  for democratic rights and to better their lives.  They have fought a long and hard battle but the uprisings in North Africa have given them hope. Read more of this post

Swazi regime’s “victory” is a pyrrhic one

Swaziland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lutfo Dlamini, called the brutally crushed peaceful protest or uprising against Swaziland’s absolute monarchy, that lets a small elite live in luxury while two thirds of the population live below the poverty line, a “failure” yesterday.

I beg to differ. In fact, the so-called “victory” of the regime against the demonstrators, whose call for democracy and rule of law in the absolute monarchy that is Swaziland, may turn out to be a pyrrhic one,  making Swazis less likely to accept reformist measures once the inevitable change that most people want comes. Read more of this post