SADC working with eSwatini over national dialogue after fatal protests
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Cape Town – International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor says the SADC was working with eSwatini for a national dialogue between King Mswati and other parties opposed to him and demanding reforms in that country.
This came after protests in the neighbouring state leading to President Cyril Ramaphosa to send former Cabinet Minister Jeff Radebe as his special envoy.
That country had over the past few months been facing protests as pro-democracy protesters have been calling for changes.
Several people were killed during the protests.
But other regional leaders called for calm and for both sides to sit down and negotiate.
Pandor said they were concerned about the security situation in eSwatini.
“The security situation in the Kingdom of eSwatini remains of concern to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In the wake of the uprisings in June 2021, the SADC Organ Troika Ministerial fact-finding and technical fact-finding missions were dispatched to eSwatini in July, to engage key stakeholders in eSwatini with a view to assist the organ with an understanding of the prevailing political and security situation in the Kingdom.
“The report, with recommendations of the organ fact-finding mission, was handed over to the eSwatini government and was the focus of engagements when the SADC organ special envoys visited eSwatini from October 21 to 22.
“Following these consultations, King Mswati III announced a national dialogue to discuss challenges faced by the country. The chairperson of the SADC organ also issued a statement, emphasising the importance of the national dialogue and calling for a de-escalation of the security situation,” said Pandor.
“Following an audience with King Mswati III, on November 2, the chairperson of SADC announced that the government of eSwatini would work closely with SADC to draft terms of reference for the national dialogue. This process is under way,” said Pandor.