Send Swazi king and his wives home from Royal wedding
April 29, 2011 Leave a comment
“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.
Mswati’s attendance at today’s wedding comes only a couple of weeks after the brutal clamp-down of peaceful demonstrations in Swaziland for democracy and against Mswati’s absolute rule. All political parties are banned in Swaziland, where the King in effect runs the country as a dictatorial landlord. Two thirds of the population survives on less than a dollar a day, many receiving food aid from the UN, while the King and his large royal family live a life of luxury.
Africa Contact, who has worked in Swaziland for over ten years together with the country’s democratic movement, therefore asks British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, “to send Swaziland’s King back to Swaziland with the message that he should not return before political parties have been unbanned, political prisoners have been released, the country has been democratized, and democratic elections have been held.”
This request is neither unreasonable nor is it unrealistic. Sami Khiyami, the Syrian ambassador, has already been ‘disinvited’ because of his country’s appalling human rights record, and protests have been held outside the Saudi embassy in London to protest against Saudi Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz’s invitation. British NGO ACTSA has also protested outside the luxurious Dorchester Hotel in London, where King Mswati and his entourage of 50-odd people was to have stayed, forcing them to flee to another hotel.