Friday, November 21, 2008


The United States Ambassador to Swaziland has called the Swazi King Mswati III’s war against his own people as an ‘abridgement of the freedom of the people’.

Ambassador Maurice Parker said the branding of four political formations as ‘terrorist’ organisations ‘raises concerns about the kingdom’s commitment to the principles of good governance’.

Parker told the Times of Swaziland today (21 November 2008), ‘The announcement of the application of the Suppression of Terrorism Bill 2008 against Swazi citizens and the banning of four political organisations raises concerns about the kingdom’s commitment to the principles of good governance.’

Parker told the Times that such a move also raised concerns about the Swazi Government’s adherence to the rule of law.

Parker, who was responding to a questionnaire from the newspaper, described the stance taken by the Swazi Prime Minister, Barnabas Dlamini, against the four political organisations as nothing else but an ‘abridgement of the freedom of the people’.

He said he had met yesterday with the Prime Minister and ‘I told him everything I wanted to say.’

Parker acknowledged that every country had the right to protect itself and its citizens from terrorist and criminal acts but said it should not be at the expense of the rights of citizens to carry out lawful activities.

He called upon government to open dialogue to all the concerned parties. ‘Regardless of the government’s intention to protect the Swazi people from violent terrorist acts, our experience has been that the simple and most effective anti-terrorism is open dialogue and negotiation with all elements of the Swazi society,’ Parker said.

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