Namibia: Eswatini Deploys Army to Quell Pro-Democracy School Protests – AllAfrica.com
SOLDIERS and police have been deployed across schools in Eswatini where, for weeks now, students have been protesting to demand political reforms, according to pro-democracy groups.
School students in Africa’s last absolute monarchy, formerly known as Swaziland, have been boycotting classes and staging low-key protests for the past month.
They are mainly calling for the release of two lawmakers arrested during pro-democracy protests earlier this year, along with better learning conditions and free education.
The southern African country’s army has been deployed “to intimidate, but that has not deterred the students”, Lucky Lukhele, spokesman for the pro-democracy Swaziland Solidarity Network, told the AFP news agency on Monday.
He said 17 students, including a seven-year-old, had been arrested during Monday’s protests. The Communist Party of Swaziland said at least 10 protesters had been arrested, with one student shot in the leg.
The accounts were not able to be independently verified.
Army spokeswoman Tengetile Khumalo confirmed the deployment but said soldiers were “not an enemy of the people”.
This “doesn’t mean there is war but just an assistance to the other forces to maintain order”, she said.
Mduduzi Gina, general secretary of the Trade Union Congress of Eswatini, said “the pupils are calling for political reforms”.
“Having the army … and cops deployed in the schools will worsen the situation in Eswatini,” he warned.
Civil society and opposition groups demonstrated in the main cities of Manzini and Mbabane in June, looting shops and ransacking properties, some of which belonged to King Mswati III.
At least 27 people died as police clashed with protesters in some of the worst unrest in the country’s history.
– Al Jazeera
Read the original article on Namibian.
AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.
Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.
AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa – aggregating, producing and distributing 800 news and information items daily from over 100 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Washington DC.
Get the latest in African news delivered straight to your inbox
We need to confirm your email address.
To complete the process, please follow the instructions in the email we just sent you.
There was a problem processing your submission. Please try again later.