eswatini protests Manzini

Watch: Eswatini protesters clash with armed soldiers in Manzini [video]

Andile Sicetsha - 16.07.2021

Eswatini citizens are being attacked viciously by the monarchy’s armed militia in Manzini. Here’s the latest.

The situation in Eswatini continues to deteriorate as citizens edge forward with their fight for democracy against a monarchy stubbornly clinching onto totalitarian power.

Watch: Eswatini protesters attacked by army in Manzini

Two weeks into the unrest and citizens are still amplifying the noise in calling for Eswatini King Mswati III to yield to a more progressive and inclusive form of governance.

However, as the videos embedded below show, the king is in no way prepared to negotiate with his people.

On Friday, pro-democracy protesters associated with the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) gathered in Manzini for a peaceful protest that was disrupted by armed militants

Thus far, King Mswati III has made no attempts to directly respond to the people’s cries. Instead, and quite coincidentally, the king called on a ‘sibaya’ gathering on the same day the Manzini protests were scheduled to take place.

This traditional gathering takes place at the Ludzidzini royal residence, in Lobamba, on Friday. It’s said that the king has welcomed those with concerns to step forward to the ‘sibaya’ and address their grievances. However, there are growing fears that this may be a plot to lure activists to submission.

Eswatini remains the last total monarchy in Africa and its people have vowed to keep fighting for freedom until democracy is realised in the country.

Eswatini pro-democracy protest latest death toll

At this time, there are discrepancies around the actual statistics related to the deaths, injuries and arrests that have come from the Eswatini unrest.

The monarchy, last week, claimed that 27 people were killed in the unrest and more than 5 000 jobs were lost but activists beg to differ.

According to the SSN’s tally, the government’s figure is off by at least 27 deaths and contrary to what the monarchy says, more than 200 pro-democracy protesters have been admitted to hospital for serious treatment.

In South Africa, the EFF has been front-and-centre in rallying behind Eswatini’s fight for democracy. The opposition party led a peaceful march to the Swazi border post in Mpumalanga where calls were made for the South African government to downgrade Eswatini’s embassy status.