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Friday, 18 March 2011


People on today’s mass march on the prime minister’s office in Swaziland want the government to resign, Mario Masuku, president of the banned opposition People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), told Reuters news agency.

About 5,000 protestors are in the Swazi capital Mbabane, but they are being monitored by heavily-armed police and security forces.

Reuters quotes Masuku saying, ‘We are here to demand the unbanning of political parties. We have no confidence in the government and want a new interim government to be put in place and for political parties to be unbanned.’

He added, ‘Government corruption is draining our country.’

Sarah Dlamini, one of the protesters told Reuters, ‘We are inspired by the events in the Middle East and North Africa. This regime must be removed.’

Reuters reports that unemployment in the kingdom (ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch) of 1.4 million people is about 40 percent, with 70 percent of the population living below the national poverty line.

In contrast, King Mswati -- who has 14 wives -- has a personal fortune of $200 million, according to Forbes magazine.

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