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Open Letter on the present situation in Swaziland

Africa Contact: Open Letter on the present situation in Swaziland

African Union (AU)

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Commonwealth of Nations

European Union

Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF)

International press and media

August 31, 2008

Internationally, the royal disregard for fundamental democratic rights has been ignored. The election of King Mswati as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on politics, defence and security, which is responsible for the defence of democracy in the region, is absolutely unacceptable. Royal governance has been no less than a catastrophe for its people.

The Swazi regime is spending an extreme level of resources on the coming 40/40 celebrations, the royal birthday and so-called independence day. Royal independence has created a state of oppression and inequality that is unacceptable, a state of hunger and a mortality of the people that is deeply tragic.

Women have marched to government offices in Mbabane, angered by the abuse and corruption of the royal regime. Again and again, the Swaziland rulers have harassed the democratic movement, trade unions leaders and representatives of the democratic movement.

There is no other way than to demand:

  • Lifting of the royal ban on multiparty politics and the right to participate in public institutions. A ban created by royal proclamation to the nation in 1973 and continuing in the constitution introduced in 2005.
  • The right to return of all political fugitives. There are many who remain in exile for fear of persecution by the state.
  • A representative national convention creating a democratic constitution which will be a true representation of the people of Swaziland, of their needs and their future.
  • An end to the corruption and greed of a royal family and a ruling minority that is a deep threat to the future of Swazi society.
  • There is no other way. Africa Contact (Denmark) has for years supported the democratic movement in Swaziland. Also with the hope that it could achieve its goal through peaceful means, but such a hope seems deeply threatened now in a time of permanent crisis.

    ENDS

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