SAPSN held a virtual Solidarity Rally on 1 July 2021 to gain a clear understanding of the ongoing situation in the Kingdom of Eswatini and to mobilize solidarity for the people of Eswatini amidst a growing humanitarian crisis, worrisome violence, shooting of civilians, crackdown of Activists and heightened repression. The rally drew participants from solidarity partners mainly from the SADC region, the African continent and beyond. Below are the critical demands and commitments raised during the Rally:
- We recognize the root causes of the unfolding crisis in Eswatini not only in the inadequacies of the absolute monarchy system of governance but also in the concentration of wealth and economic power in the hands of a narrow ruling elite, at the expense of the suffering majority.
- The cry of the people of Eswatini for a transition to a democratic order in which they can freely participate in political decision-making processes, join parties of their own choice and democratically voice concerns without fear of victimization must be heeded.
- The army must immediately return to the barracks and allow citizens to exercise their right to protest without fear. We therefore, condemn and demand accountability for the state sponsored violence and intimidation unleashed on citizens by uniformed forces particularly for the deaths and disappearances reported in several areas over the past week.
- We further condemn ongoing blockages to the internet and other communication channels meant to disrupt the free flow of information to and from the Kingdom of Eswatini.
- We thus urge SADC to immediately deploy a Fact-Finding Mission to gather information and report on conditions on the ground in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
- We are particularly concerned by SADC’s silence and inaction amid the worsening situation in Eswatini. We therefore plead with SADC to urgently intervene to restore peace and facilitate an inclusive locally driven national dialogue process to facilitate a transition to an acceptable democratic order.
- We commit to offer support and solidarity to meet the humanitarian, psychosocial, shelter and other practical needs of vulnerable groups in Eswatini and Activists fleeing the Kingdom of Eswatini for fear of arrest or loss of life.
- We commit to rally behind the diplomatic engagement efforts of the Church and other progressive groups to find lasting solutions to the multi-faceted crisis in Eswatini.
- We call upon all SAPSN member organisations, labour, churches, and all progressive forces to support efforts to pressure regional leaders to urgently act to resolve the unfolding crisis in Eswatini during planned engagements with the SADC Secretariat and other duty bearers, marches and night vigils at Eswatini Embassies in the Region and diaspora; and awareness raising efforts to alert the world of this troubling situation.