Swaziland Youth Congress: Operations won't resume until protest demands are met

Unions, opposition parties and student groups have joined the latest new wave of unrest, which have mainly called for the release of two lawmakers arrested during protests earlier this year.

Firefighters extinguish a fire at a supermarket in Manzini, eSwatini, on 30 June 2021. Demonstrations escalated radically in eSwatini as protesters took to the streets demanding immediate political reforms. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Swaziland Youth Congress on Monday vowed that no operations will continue in eSwatini until demands by pro-democracy protestors are met.

Unions, opposition parties and student groups have joined the latest new wave of unrest, which have mainly called for the release of two lawmakers arrested during protests earlier this year.

All major towns in the small mountain kingdom have shut down and all transport services have been suspended.

Government has also taken the decision to close schools indefinitely with immediate effect.

The youth congress's Shakhile Awuviva said: “There are no operations that are going to resume up until all those demands are met.”

At least 28 people have died as police clashed with protesters in some of the worst unrest in the southern African country's history. The latest fatality came on Wednesday.

King Mswati III has ruled Eswatini since 1986 and owns shares in all of the country's telecoms.

He is criticised for living a lavish lifestyle in one of the world's poorest countries and is also accused of stifling political parties.

The king has accused demonstrators of depriving children of their education by taking part in the protests.

Additional reporting by AFP.

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