We will not sit back and watch, the government of Eswatini warns ‘winter revolution’ rioters

Eswatini Premier Cleopas Sipho Dlamini

Photo: Daniel Leal / Pool, AFP

  • Two police officers have been killed by a crowd of “winter revolution” protesters.
  • The government says it will not sit back and watch terrorists try to disrupt peace.
  • Swaziland’s Communist Party says police have dropped live ammunition at its rally.

Eswatini’s government says the country is “under threat” from “senseless” attacks after a crowd of two policemen were killed amid protests under the banner of the “winter revolution” spread across the four regions of the country.

In a media address, Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini called those behind the protests insurgents.

“It is therefore clear that these attacks are not only on government or an individual company, but on all emaSwati. Those behind these evil deeds are terrorists who are helping to condemn our people to a state of fear and never ending cycle of poverty, “he said.

READ | Eswatini: ‘Winter Revolution’ cripples international business, affecting local people

Last week, before the police killings, a group called the Swaziland International Solidarity Forces (SISF) attacked Inyatsi Construction – an international company operating in nine African countries, including Zambia, Ivory Coast, Uganda and Botswana – because it was apparently linked is with King Mswati III.

Reports in Eswatini involved the SISF in the murder of the two policemen.

The media quotes an unnamed “commander” in their coverage.

Swaziland News quoted the SISF as saying the killings were “in response to the arrest of pro-democracy MPs Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube, and the continued killing of dozens of civilians by Mswati’s forces, solely for the sake of democratic reforms “.

Dlamini said the attacks were intended to derail the political dialogue in the country and that those behind the attacks have a terrorist agenda.

“There can be no justification [for] such attacks, especially if we already have a clearly defined path to reconcile our differences and build a better Eswatini together, ”he said.

He added:

It is now clear to all of us that the people behind these attacks are not for the better [the] emaSwati or a better Eswatini, mar [are] selfishly pushing their terrorist agendas.

The government warned that it would not sit back and watch terrorists intimidate emaSwati and that it would do everything in its power to restore peace and order in the kingdom.

The Swaziland Communist Party (CPS) said on Saturday that police fired live ammunition at its members protesting during a rally in Mahwalala.

“The police intended to disrupt the peaceful rally in which community members fully participated to pave the way for the total dismantling of the think tank system,” the party said.

The think tank is an electoral system that serves as a form of government, based on traditional, administrative subdivisions.

Eswatini has 55 think tanks in the four districts of the country. There are 14 in the Hhohho District, 11 in the Lubombo District, 16 in the Manzini District, and 14 in the Shiselweni District.

Opposition and pressure groups in the country say King Mswati III is using the think tank as a disguise for democracy.

In April, pro-democracy groups led by South African EFF gave King Mswati III a year to abdicate or confront the full wrath of demonstrations.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained therein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

We will not sit back and watch, the government of Eswatini warns ‘winter revolution’ rioters

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