Hundreds of prodemocracy demonstrators in Swaziland (eSwatini) gathered outside the UN office inn the kingdom’s capital Mbabane demanding an end to King Mswati’s absolute monarchy.
Ten representatives of the Political Party Assembly (PPA), a coalition of five banned political parties, met with the UN Resident Coordinator, Nathalie Ndongo-She on Friday (10 September 2021).
Swaziland is not a democracy. Political parties are barred from taking part in elections and groups advocating for reform are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act. No members of the kingdom’s Senate chamber are elected by the people and the King appoints the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and top judges among others.
The meeting was part of a Global Week of Action that included efforts to deliver petitions of protest at local government offices and an attempt to block the border with South Africa.
Later, the UN issued a statement on social media, ‘The United Nations continues to stand in solidarity with the people of eSswatini & is working to help restore peace to the nation.’
Sibongile Mazibuko, President of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC), who was one of the political leaders who delivered the petition said King Mswati refused to engage them on democratic reforms despite numerous attempts.
‘We have reached a point whereby we have no alternative but to approach the United Nations because there are UN Conventions which he signed. We have seen the United Nations resolving political conflicts in countries like Sudan and we believe they will take action and assist us achieve democracy,’ she said.
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