The Southern African People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN) demands the immediate intervention of SADC to restore peace and facilitate a people-driven transition to democratic order.
After long years of democratic repression in the Kingdom of Eswatini, many citizens are calling for an end to King Mswati’s monarchial rule. Which monarchial rule, has led to the impoverishment of the majority of people and the enrichment of a narrow elite. An elite given to extravagant excess and impervious to the call for democratic reform.
The renewed call for democratization has been largely triggered by the democratic calls from Members of Parliament Magawugawu, Bacede and Mthandeni, for the democratic election of a new Prime Minister as opposed to the appointment of a new Prime Minister by the King.
Over the past few months, people from many communities particularly the youth, have marched to deliver petitions to their constituency offices. These actions replicated in many diverse communities have been peaceful. However, this past Saturday 26th June, 2021, when people planned to go and deliver a petition at a community center of one of the 3 members of Parliament, government seeing that such would be a huge rally decided to ban the delivery of petitions and marches including in particular areas represented by the 3 Parliamentarians.
However, citizens openly defied the order and went to Siphofaneni to deliver the petition leading to the police beating up innocent civilians discriminately.
As at 29 June 2021, worrisome reports of gunfire, arbitrary arrests and beatings have come from multiple areas. Unleashing the military on unarmed civilians seeking to express rights can only plunge Eswatini into a deeper crisis.
As SAPSN we hereby:
Call on the police in Swaziland to exercise restraint and protect the rights of peaceful citizens.
We implore regional, continental and international partners to intervene in resolving the Eswatini crisis which could lead to further loss of life as evidenced by the determination of the Monarch to protect their political power at all costs.
Urge SADC to urgently facilitate an internal and inclusive stakeholders’ dialogue in Eswatini to realise the long-held wishes of the people of Swaziland for democratic reform and the end of monarchical rule.
SADC in its endeavour to promote democratic principles in the region, should encourage the Monarch in Eswatini to uphold and guarantee citizens’ rights as enshrined by regional and international human rights treaties and statutes. SADC should encourage Eswatini to fulfil its obligations as spelt out in the SADC Treaty which designates “solidarity, peace and security; respect for human rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law and peaceful settlement of disputes” as its founding principles.
Call on the military to return to the barracks and allow civilians to demonstrate peacefully
SAPSN will be conduct a Virtual Solidarity Summit on Thursday 01 August 2021, from 10am – 12 am to raise awareness on the unfolding situation and to mobilise solidarity and material support in aid of progressive movements and democratic forces in the Kingdom of Eswatini.