SADC not doing enough to address concerns of eSwatini citizens - Pudemo

The movement has urged the Southern African regional bloc to take the country’s crisis seriously after the resurgence of pro-democracy protests.

FILE: A victim of a police brutality, who was shot by Swazi Special Police Unit's Operation Service Support Unit (OSSU), is carried away on a stretcher in Mbabane, Eswatini, on 20 October 2021. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Eswatini’s People's United Democratic Movement said the SADC was not doing enough to address the concerns of citizens in the kingdom.

The movement has urged the Southern African regional bloc to take the country’s crisis seriously after the resurgence of pro-democracy protests.

The demonstrations have been spearheaded by students, civil servants, transport workers and others who are demanding immediate political reforms.

Schools have been shut, clashes with police have been widely reported and social media platforms were restricted in the last few days.

“We want to emphasise that the approach by SADC, because it is premised on the wrong starting point, the problem is not the uprising. The problem in Swaziland is politics. Until and unless SADC attends to the political nature of the problem, they will continue to focus on symptoms as opposed to focusing on the cause,” said the movement’s Mlungisi Makhanya.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the SADC’s Chair Organ on defence, politics and security operation, sent special envoys to eSwatini for talks with King Mswati III.

Ramaphosa said on Saturday the king was open to a “national dialogue” to address the ongoing crisis.

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