For a kingdom, often described by King Mswati III and the sycophants who support him, as ‘peaceful’ there’s an awful lot of military training going on at present.
Last week it was announced that Swaziland and the Russian Ministry of Defence had signed a deal to train Swazi soldiers in Russia.
A press release from the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Mozambique said Russia would provide training in a number of military disciplines that include medicine, artillery and engineering.
This is the latest in a number of ‘deals’ Swaziland has done with foreign powers – most of them with dubious human rights records – to train military personnel.
In December 2010, it was revealed that Swazi military forces were to be sent to Pakistan for training. The details of the training were not released, but in view of the ongoing civil strife in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, one could be forgiven for concluding that the training was in how to deal with an uprising of a civilian population.
Pakistan’s military has an appalling record when it comes to attacking its own citizens. In the same week the Swaziland – Pakistan deal was announced, Wikileaks revealed the United States was concerned about massive human right violations in Pakistan, especially where suspected ‘terrorists’ were concerned.
As we know King Mswati and Barnabas Dlamini, the man he unconstitutionally-appointed Prime Minister, label anyone who opposes them ‘terrorists’.
The deal was made at about the same time that Wikileaks also revealed that a weapons deal worth US$60 million had been blocked by the UK Government amid fears that the Swaziland King would use the guns, troop carriers and helicopters against the Swazi people.
Pakistan is not the only country that has helped to train military personnel for the king. The king’s eldest son, Prince Sicalo was undergoing several years training as a military pilot in Libya when the present rebellion started. As soon as trouble began, Sicalo ran away home to his father’s arms.
Sicalo’s brother Prince Lindani has also undergone military training abroad. In his case he went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he passed out as an officer cadet in August 2010.
So, all that amounts to a lot of military training, But what is it all for? Swaziland is not about to declare war on another state and it is highly unlikely it’s about to be invaded. King Mswati should tell us what’s going on.
Otherwise, we must inevitably reach the conclusion that the military are being trained to keep the king in power should an uprising start.