Norway has pledged to work for democracy in Swaziland and compares the fight for freedom in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, to its role in the fight against apartheid in neighboring South Africa.
There is a large number of human rights issues in Swaziland, including the harassing and jailing of pro-democracy activists. Pro-democracy activists say a monarchy is ill-equipped to combat the poverty and AIDS that trouble the kingdom of 1 million wedged between South Africa and Mozambique.
At a Norwegian-sponsored meeting held in South Africa yesterday (11 August 2010) and featuring diplomats and Swazi pro-democracy groups, Norwegian Ambassador Tor Christian Hildan said his government was not alone in noting ‘with growing concern the difficult situation regarding human rights, freedom of speech’ in Swaziland.
For further details of the meeting, click here.