Is King Mswati III getting his army ready to attack his subjects, should civil unrest start as a result of the economic meltdown in Swaziland?
I ask this as news comes out that Swazi military forces are to be sent to Pakistan for training.
The details of the training are not released, but since Swaziland is not at war and has no external enemies which are likely to attack the kingdom, one might assume the training is to deal with internal problems, such as civil unrest.
Pakistan’s military has an appalling record when it comes to attacking its own citizens. Only this week Wikileaks revealed the United States was concerned about massive human right violations in Pakistan, especially where suspected ‘terrorists’ are concerned.
All this sounds familiar in Swaziland, where the Suppression of Terrorism Act has been used against legitimate dissenters protesting for democracy in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
In October this year (2010), the US cut aid to Pakistan’s military as punishment for human rights abuses, including torture and extrajudicial executions.
The sanctions came after the deaths of hundreds of people at the hands of Pakistan’s regular and paramilitary forces in the Swat valley since an operation to drive out the Taliban started in May 2009.
There has been concern in Swaziland that civil unrest might erupt as the economic meltdown begins to bite. The Swazi military appears to be stockpiling weapons and ammunition that could be used against a civilian population.