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Eswatini

Government officials deny King of Eswatini fled kingdom


By U.S. Department of State - https://www.flickr.com/photos/statephotos/14817480726/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34555883

Officials in Eswatini have denied that King Mswati III, who has been on the throne for 35 years, fled the African kingdom following pro-democracy protests.

The Acting Prime Minister, Themba Masuku, released a statement Tuesday saying the King was still in Eswatini: “His Majesty the King is still in the country and continues to lead in working with Government to advance the Kingdom’s goals.”

“Government will update the nation on interventions on the current situation as the day progresses. In the meantime, we appeal for calm, restraint and peace from all emaSwati,” the statement continued.

Reports began circulating earlier this week when South Africa’s public broadcaster, SABC, reported the news alongside the Rwandan Broadcasting Agency.

Pro-democracy protests had been taken place in eSwatini for several days now in at least 10 different places. Police had reportedly used teargas and live ammunition in an attempt to disperse protesters, leading to injuries. The King rules the country as an absolute monarch, and it is he who chooses the Prime Minister, ministers, judges and civil servants. The protesters have been calling for political reforms and wish to elect their own Prime Minister. Political parties have been banned in the country since 1973.

The government’s ban on protests was instituted last Thursday, with the National Police Commissioner giving out the warning that breaches of the ban would be met with zero tolerance.

Additional reporting by Moniek Bloks
About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.