The Swaziland Democracy Campaign issued a statement this afternoon (18 March 2011) saying that the Swazi state had ‘declared war on its peace loving unarmed citizens’.
The Swaziland army is blocking streets and traffic is halted. Streets of the capital city Mbabane have been turned into a military zone.
IT IS WAR!!!
The state has declared war on its peace loving unarmed citizens!!
Today, Mancishana Street, the street on which the Manzini Regional Police Headquarters and the Manzini Police Station are located, has been blocked off by a battalion of the regime’s security forces. The street with a length of approximately 250 metres is filled from end to end with a mass of a portion of the State’s army and there is no traffic allowed to pass through it.
Apart from the human personnel, the security forces are armed to the teeth with various armaments and these include their armoured vehicles, caspers, water canons ands others I am unable to identify. As I type this out, the security forces are being given instructions on their operation for the day.
This battalion in Manzini is but a portion of the entire army that has been unleashed by the regime. In every corner of the country, the security forces are visible and heavily armed. The streets of Mbabane have been turned into a military zone wherein the ordinary citizen has to seriously attempt to navigate around the security forces that are choc-a-bloc on every street.
This however does not surprise us as the security forces have been deployed since the beginning of the week and the roadblocks that had been mounted since Monday have become a regular, daily and normal occurrence for all Swazis on the major roads of the country.
It is clear that the regime has given one main instruction to the security forces: TO CRUSH THE PEOPLE’S DEMONSTRATION USING BRUTAL AND DEADLY FORCE. However, the one thing that the state has not considered is what will happen if the anger of the people gets to boiling point and they decide to retaliate with whatever means possible?
As you walk along the street of the two major cities and enter into any of the major business premises, all you hear is talk of the protest march. These are ordinary Swazis not involved in the struggle. They are raising questions on issues that civil society wants to be addressed. The people are also questioning the use of the security forces to intimidate and harass “Swazis who want to change the country for the better good of the citizens and out love for their country”.
Comrades, the ordinary Swazi out there is seeing the light and it is up to us to increase the momentum and bear pressure on the regime to accede to change. The regime has to bear in mind that they have no choice in the matter, THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE HAS SPOKEN.
Our message to the state is that no “amount of brutality shall deter us from our goal”. Multi-party democracy is the only answer and Swaziland is enroute there.