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Swaziland's King Mswati III renames country

King Mswati III told a crowd at a stadium in Manzini that eSwatini was the name of the kingdom before it was colonised by the British.

FILE: King Mswati III. Picture: United Nations Photo

PRETORIA - King Mswati III has renamed the Kingdom of Swaziland to eSwatini.

He made the announcement on the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence which coincides with his 50th birthday.

He’s used the name, which means “place of the Swazi” in the local Swati language, several times before at the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, at the African Union and the opening of Parliament in 2014.

As one of two monarchs left on the African continent, he shares the status with Morocco’s Mohammed VI.

Mswati has the power to change his kingdom’s name.

He told a crowd at a stadium in Manzini that eSwatini was the name of the kingdom before it was colonised by the British.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen attended the independence anniversary celebrations.

The kingdom is one of two African countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)