We the young people of Southern Africa organised under the banner of the Southern African People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN Youth) call upon SADC leaders to hear the cries of the Youth for peace, justice and democratic co-existence in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
So far, the cries of the Youth of Eswatini have been met with violence, repression, social media shutdowns and disruptions to schooling and access to public services. Young people continue to suffer the most.
On the political crisis we submit the following:
We demand the unbanning of all political parties and the establishment of a constitutional democracy preceded by a people driven constitution, leading to free, fair and credible elections based on universal adult suffrage and monitored, supervised and handled by SADC and the International Community.
We demand the unconditional release of all political prisoners, the return of exiled Eswatini pro-democracy activists and dropping of spurious charges against those calling for democratic reform.
We demand the immediate release of the SADC fact finding mission report into Eswatini.
We condemn SADC leaders’ failure to announce a Regional position on Eswatini during the Lilongwe SADC Summit held in August and urge SADC leaders to convene an Extra-ordinary Summit to formulate a regional plan of action on Eswatini.
We plead with SADC leaders to urgently facilitate an inclusive national dialogue process to help the people of Eswatini make the transition from monarchical dictatorship to a just, equal and prosperous society.
On the socioeconomic situation we submit the following:
We call upon SADC leaders and the International Community to respond to the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation in Eswatini which disproportionately affects women, youth and marginalised communities in the context of an already unequal and impoverished society.
We demand an end to the economic vandalism, corruption, nepotism and irresponsible debts of the Eswatini ruling elites and their foreign enablers
We reiterate the call by Students Unions and Youth Movements in Eswatini for scholarships and jobs for all in Eswatini paid for through the just and fair taxation of the wealth concentrated around the King and his compradors.
We remind SADC leaders of the SADC Vision 2050 which states that “By 2050, we envision a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle to high income industrialised region where all citizens enjoy economic wellbeing, justice and freedom.” The young people of Eswatini deserve a chance to contribute and benefit from this vision. SADC leaders hear the cry of the Youth and mediate an inclusive national dialogue in Eswatini now!