Hundreds of trucks stranded at Oshoek Border Post to Eswatini amid protests

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Hundreds of trucks have been parked stranded at the Oshoek Border Post waiting to cross into Eswatini. There are reports that pro-democracy protesters are targeting trucks transporting goods into Eswatini. The protesters are calling for electoral reforms in that country. Reports that King Mswati the Third fled the country were since disputed by the acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku confirming that the king is in Eswatini.

Oshoek Border Post is the biggest economic hub for Eswatini. Many goods from South Africa get into that country through this port of entry. However, the ongoing violent protests in Eswatini have led to hundreds of trucks being parked stranded with goods at the border post. There has been looting of goods from the trucks – which the government of Eswatini said are acts of criminality.

Delays in the movement of goods into Eswatini due to protests:

Some of the truck drivers say it is not safe for them to be waiting at the border. They say the acts of looting might also escalate into South Africa while waiting for the situation to return to normal in Eswatini.

The government of Eswatini has announced several measures to deal with the violent protests. Security forces have been deployed to ensure law and order. A curfew has been introduced and schools have been closed, with government institutions closing at 15:00. Government officials on the Engwenyeni port of entry are unable to work through the system – since their network is down in Eswatini. Light vehicles are being cleared manually.

Eswatini goverment denies King Mswati III has fled the country:

Oshoek port manager, Life Mokoena says they requested services of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the police to patrol around the border especially at night to ensure that the trucks are safe.

“Because of the truck that has been parked here since yesterday at night police officials, SAPS, are patrolling to make sure that the trucks are safe and the truck drivers are safe and the goods that are in trucks are not stolen. We also having assistant from the SANDF who are also assisting us in ensuring that these trucks are safe,” says Mokoena.

The government said the law will take its cause against all those who perpetuate anarchy and threaten the lives and livelihood of emaSwati.

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