The ruling elite in Swaziland is acting as if there is a major crisis with the news that Prince Sicalo, King Mswati III’s first-born son, is training in Libya as a soldier.
Officials at the ‘highest level’ are reported to be ‘working around the clock to ensure the safe evacuation’ of the prince out of the country.
Prince Sicalo has been in Libya for a number of years undergoing ‘specialist’ military training with the murderous regime, headed by Colonel Muammar Gadaffi.
This week, a popular uprising against Gaddafi has seen many hundreds of protestors killed by Gadaffi’s troops and reportedly also by foreign mercenaries, some from sub-Saharan Africa.
Official sources have refused to reveal what military training the prince, who is a lieutenant in the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF), was undertaking, claiming it is ‘sensitive’ information.
Whatever the training, Prince Sicalo is showing his true colours. He is a professional soldier on secondment to Libya and the first moment there is a fight, he runs home to Daddy. That’s not very brave. But I’ll bet that when he eventually makes it back to Swaziland, the media will hail him as a ‘hero’.
At least the Swaziland ruling elite aren’t claiming that the Swazi people are holding their breath for news of the Prince’s safety.
But, according to the Times of Swaziland, an independent newspaper in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati, the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa, ‘a high level committee has been constituted in the country to coordinate and ensure the safe return of Prince Sicalo.
It added, ‘the committee comprises senior officials within the King’s Office, Tibiyo Taka Ngwane, Prime Minister’s office, USDF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.’
Clifford Mamba, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Prince Sicalo was still in Libya, and there were efforts to evacuate him.
‘The situation involving His Royal Highness being in Libya at this time is manageable. We are working on getting him out, and one way or the other we will get him out safely,’ he said.
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