Swaziland’s illegally appointed Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini has warned foreign diplomats not to get involved with the people he has branded ‘terrorists’.
Dlamini told a media conference that it would be wrong of diplomats to be seen ‘shaking hands with terrorists’ or sympathisers’.
His comments came after international condemnation of Swaziland after King Mswati III declared war on his own people and called on Dlamini to get the terrorists and all who support them. Dlamini immediately branded four political formations as ‘terrorists’ and arrested Mario Masuku, who is the President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), one of the banned organisations. Any member or supporter of one of the banned organisations faces up to 25 years in jail.
The US Ambassador to Swaziland Maurice Parker said the prime minister’s actions ‘raises concerns about the kingdom’s commitment to the principles of good governance’.
Last week Swazi police stopped a meeting between foreign diplomats and church leaders which was intending to discuss the government’s suppression of freedom in Swaziland.
The Swazi Observer reports today (5 December 2008) that Dlamini claimed that Swaziland’s anti terror laws were no different to those in other countries, He likened Swaziland’s ‘terrorist’ problem (which consists of some failed attempts to blow up property) with the terrorist outrages in Mumbai, India, last week in which up to 200 people may have been killed.