Eswatini Pro-Democracy Protesters Head to the UN

The protests had begun after the mysterious death of 25-year-old law student, Thabani Nkomonye, allegedly at the hands of the police.

Scores of prodemocracy campaigners in eSwatini gathered outside the UN office in the kingdom’s capital Mbabane demanding an end to King Mswati’s absolute monarchy.

Ten representatives of the Political Party Assembly (PPA), a coalition of five outlawed political parties, met with the UN Resident Coordinator, Nathalie Ndongo-She on Friday September 10, 2021.

Political parties are barred from participating in elections and groups advocating for reform are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act. No member of the kingdom’s Senate chamber is elected by the people and the King appoints the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and top judges among others.

The meeting was part of a Global Week of Action that included efforts to deliver petitions of protest at local government offices and an attempt to block the border with South Africa.

The UN later issued a statement on social media stating that, ‘The United Nations continues to stand in solidarity with the people of eSswatini & is working to help restore peace to the nation.’
Sibongile Mazibuko, President of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC), who was one of the political leaders who delivered the petition said King Mswati refused to engage them on democratic reforms despite numerous attempts.

‘We have reached a point whereby we have no alternative but to approach the United Nations because there are UN Conventions which he signed. We have seen the United Nations resolving political conflicts in countries like Sudan and we believe they will take action and assist us achieve democracy,’ she said.

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