Thousands protest against Swaziland’s absolute monarchy

“The walls of Mbabane were vibrating with the shouts of Viva Pudemo [banned political party], viva Swayoco [youth wing of Pudemo],” says Secretary General of Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, Mduduzi Gina.

Between one and two thousand people took to the streets today, and between five hundred and a thousand yesterday, to demand democratisation and social reform in Africa’s last absolute monarchy, Swaziland. Read more of this post

Nye protester mod Swazilands enevældige konge

Tusinder af mennesker protesterede onsdag, torsdag, og i dag imod Swazilands enevældige konge over hele Swaziland, i en demonstration arrangeret af landets fagbevægelse. ”Tusinder af arbejdere er samlet i fem byer rundt omkring i landet for at protestere imod Swazilands udemokratiske styre”, udtalte Fundizwi Skhondze fra Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions forleden til South African Press Association.

Demonstranterne protesterede imod manglende demokrati i landet, hvor kongen regerer enevældigt, imod den store mangel på medicin i et land med over 40% Hiv-smittede, og over landets økonomiske krise, der betyder store nedskæringer på sociale ydelser og offentlige lønninger, imens landets kongefamilie og politikere giver sig selv en lønforhøjelse. Read more of this post

Swaziland: uprising in the slip-stream of North Africa

A new, well-educated generation of Swazis have been inspired by the uprisings in North Africa, as well as compelled by their own increasingly desperate situation of mass-unemployment and poverty, to try and replace the undemocratic and corrupt absolute monarchy that is Swaziland with a democratic and fair system.

The know-how and tactics of these youths, combined with the mass mobilisation for democracy and socio-economic justice that has taken place for decades in Swaziland, that together comprised the campaign or uprising on April 12-15, appears to be a significant breakthrough. It may not have brought about immediate democratisation but it is surely “the beginning of the end,” as a poster held by a demonstrator on April 12 proclaimed. Read more of this post

Swaziland – a country in a constant state of crisis

Swaziland, the last autocratic monarchy in Africa, is a country in an almost constant state of crisis. The repeated human rights violations and harassment of the Swazi democracy movement by the Swazi regime, the huge inequalities between a small Swazi elite and the poor majority, and an Aids prevalence rate of over 40% should make newspapers and governments around the world act. But these stories are rarely if ever covered by the foreign media or condemned by world leaders or governments. In recent months the house of the Swaziland United Democratic Front National Organising Secretary Secretary has been bombed, maybe by the Swazi police; the leader of the largest opposition party, PUDEMO, has been charged with acts of terrorism for speaking his mind and is more or less constantly harassed by police; student leader Pius Vilakati has gone missing after having been attempted abducted by police; human rights activist Sipho Jele has died in police custody, probably at the hands of the police; and the President of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions has had his house searched for bombs. Read more of this post