Accusations of use of mercenaries to suppress opposition in eSwatini

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The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) has accused the government of the Kingdom of eSwatini of hiring mercenaries to assist its security forces to suppress opposition parties.

The SSN spokesperson, Lucky Lukhele says former apartheid operatives are leading mercenaries that are operating in the country.

Lukhele says the mercenaries terrorise communities and attack political activists. He says they have reported the matter to the South African government.

“As the Swaziland Solidarity Network we can confirm that there are mercenaries in Swaziland coming from South Africa wearing balaclavas, conducting road blockades. Some are deployed within the army and the police. This has been confirmed and we have got their addresses both in South Africa and they are using South African registration cars. This has also cause some uncertainty in the security forces in Swaziland where they feel undermined”

However, the Kingdom’s government has denied the allegations.

Spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo says the network is merely seeking unnecessary attention.

“The government will simply respond to this allegation by first and foremost stating clearly that this is a false operation, they are peddling lies not only against our leaders here. They are peddling lies also against the minister of finance and I have got no doubt whatsoever in my mind that this is the same narrative they have been driving with other past allegations. They are trying to get attention, they are trying to get support from local and international people.”