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Pro-democracy protests flare up in Eswatini

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MBABANE, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Pro-democracy protests have flared up in Eswatini, months after authorities loyal to the southern African nation’s absolute monarch quashed an earlier spherical of demonstrations utilizing tear fuel and water cannon.

Asked for remark, authorities spokesman Sabelo Dlamini mentioned he was not in the nation and would reply on Friday.

Anger towards King Mswati III has been constructing for years.

Campaigners say the 53-year-old king has constantly ignored requires reforms that might nudge Eswatini, which modified its title from Swaziland in 2018, in the course of democracy. learn extra

The king denies accusations of autocratic rule and of utilizing public cash to fund a lavish way of life in the impoverished nation that borders South Africa. In July he known as protests towards his rule “satanic” and mentioned they’d taken the nation backwards. learn extra

The protests this week included demonstrations in colleges by college students chanting “Mswati must fall” and “Release our MPs,” a reference to 2 lawmakers arrested throughout anti-monarchy protests this yr.

Bus drivers blocked a few of the foremost roads in the town of Manzini.

Two native newspapers, the Times of Swaziland and Eswatini Observer, printed images of troopers they mentioned had been deployed to the streets on Wednesday, when a Reuters reporter additionally noticed troopers patrolling in Mbabane, the capital.

Reuters couldn’t attain military spokeswoman Tengetile Khumalo for remark.

Police spokeswoman Phindile Vilakati mentioned she was not authorised to remark to worldwide media with out the police commissioner’s permission.

The Swaziland Association of Students has known as for a nationwide protest on Friday.

However, in feedback on nationwide radio late on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku warned college students to watch out about folks utilizing them to additional their political ambitions.

Masuku’s spokesman Mihla Khumalo didn’t instantly reply to questions from Reuters in search of clarification of what the deputy prime minister had meant by his feedback and the way the federal government would reply to the most recent protests.

Reporting by Lunga Masuku
Writing by Alexander Winning
Editing by Gareth Jones

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