Fundile Maphanga

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A barricade in the road that is on fire is seen in Mbabane, Eswatini, on 29 June 2021. Demonstrations escalated radically in Eswatini this week as protesters took to the streets demanding immediate political reforms. Photo: AFP via Getty Images.

Mounting pressures for democratic reform in eSwatini have led to the arrest of two pro-democracy MPs on suppression of terrorism charges and a brutal crackdown by security forces which have left dozens dead. Hopes for an ‘emaSwati spring’ are unlikely to be realized as the country now faces a protracted stalemate between its young urban population and an entrenched absolute monarchy.

Protests began in May following the death of 25-year-old law student Thabani Nkomanye, allegedly at hands of the police. The violence further intensified after the then acting prime minister, Themba Masuku, banned citizens from submitting petitions to MPs calling for reform.…  Seguir leyendo »