June 30, 2021

Eswatini: Curfews Implemented, Military Deployed

The government of eSwatini has engaged its military and instituted a curfew to bring order to the country after it erupted into protests.

Recent weeks have seen the small African kingdom – formerly known as Swaziland – enduring anti-monarchy and pro-democratic demonstrations, which started when varsity student Thabane Nkomonye was allegedly murdered by the police in May.

In a televised announcement on Tuesday, 29 June, Themba Masuku, the acting Prime Minister, announced that measures were being taken to bring “the situation back to normal.”

He said: “Government has been following these protests, and we want to assure the nation that these concerns have reached our ears and we are addressing them.”

Masuku added: “His Majesty King Mswati III is in the country and continues to lead in working with the government to advance the kingdom’s goals.”

Action taken include the implementation of a 6PM-5AM curfew, as well as the immediate closure of schools.

On the same day, the army was deployed to the streets of Manzini and Mbabane to quell any violent elements of a civil uprising.

Among the unrest, there have also been unconfirmed reports that King Mswati III had fled to neighbouring South Africa. Critics have accused him of living a life of luxury, while his countrymen struggle with abject poverty on a daily basis.