Eswatini’s Pudemo threatens to intensify pro-democracy protests

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The President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo) in Eswatini, Mlungisi Makhanya, says they aim to intensify their protest action.

Makhanya made the remark after the government of Eswatini called on businesses to resume their operations and residents to return to work.

Makhanya says they are opposed to the announcement.

“We reject that irresponsible call for people to go back to work. I think asking for our people to go back to work while there are soldiers in the streets, just to show the international community that you are in control or the situation has normalised is irresponsible. The situation here is still tense, volatile and dangerous,” he says.

Violent protests erupted in Eswatini 10 days ago and spread to several cities and towns. Demonstrators are calling for democratic reforms.

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In a recent statement released through the Eswatini acting Prime Minister, Themba Masuku, the kingdom’s government says while it continues to advocate and promote the full expression of all constitutional and human rights including, the right to protest, it cannot condone the attacks on people and their property.

Citizens have on the other hand accused the government of human rights violations. They allege that the country’s security forces have killed at least 54 people.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called for dialogue to resolve the impasse.

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