US Embassy To Review Eswatini Protesters Petition

The US embassy in Eswatini on Friday said it would “review with interest” a petition it received from protestors opposed to the rule of King Mswati III – the last absolute monarchy in Africa.

Discontent in the tiny landlocked Kingdom of just over a million people again bubbled to the surface with protest marches and calls for neighbour South Africa to intervene.

Thousands of pro-democracy campaigners marched to the US embassy in Eswatini, where they handed in a petition urging the Americans to cut ties with their king.

“Today, a group of peaceful demonstrators delivered a petition to the embassy,” said the US embassy in Eswatini on Friday.

“We are pleased organisers followed requirements of the Public Order Act and marchers remained calm, even as they exercised their right to assemble.

“We received the petition and will review it with interest.”

Swaziland is firmly controlled by King Mswati III, who appoints the prime minister and cabinet ministers.

Political parties are banned from taking part in elections.

Groups advocating for democracy are outlawed under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

Meanwhile, the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) on Friday appealed to the South African government, opposition political parties, and civic groups to take a firm stand against King Mswati III.

The SSN is accusing the king of attempting to “assassinate well-known political activists who reside in South Africa”.

The SSN added: “Following a thorough investigation by our network partners, it has been discovered that the king has drawn up a list of political activists who must be eliminated by his death squads.

“This mission to eliminate his perceived enemies is being aided by three private investigating firms, all of which are run by former operatives of the Apartheid security apparatus.”

The Eswatini political activists said the relationship between Apartheid agents and the “illegal and despotic Swazi Royal family” continues.

“It is now being used to undermine efforts to extend democracy to the tiny kingdom,” said the SSN.

The activists said it was “extremely disturbing” that the African National Congress government was turning a blind eye to the blatant incursions by rogue Eswatini state security units.