eSwatini opposition leaders go into hiding as Africa’s final absolute monarchy cracks down

The president of the opposition People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Mlungisi Makhanya, told CNN on Tuesday that he had witnessed military and police patrols on the ground.

“The army was brought in to help protect and preserve,” said Sen. Manqoba Khumalo, eSwatini’s Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

But the acting eSwatini President of the Economic Freedom Fighters accused the military of having a more sinister purpose.

“For now we are on the run after soldiers were sent to kill political party leaders,” activist Nombulelo Dlamini, told CNN.

The president of the National Union of Students (SNUS) is also in hiding, he told CNN.

“All we want is dialogue. We don’t promote violence. The government should engage its people,” said SNUS president, Colani Maseko.

A burning barricade in the road in Mbabane, eSwatini, on June 29, 2021. Demonstrations escalated radically in eSwatini as protesters took to the streets demanding immediate political reforms.

Tensions continue to mount despite an urgent mission dispatched to the kingdom by the president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, including the foreign ministers of Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The South African…