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Monday, 4 April 2011

SWAZI UNIONS FEAR POLICE RAIDS

Labour unions and civic society organisations in Swaziland have placed themselves on alert after what is being described ‘as credible information’ was received that they are about to be raided by Swazi state authorities in an attempt to disrupt the ‘uprising’ scheduled for next Tuesday (12 April 2011).


King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, and the government he handpicks, have become increasingly worried about the ‘uprising’ that is being coordinated by a Facebook group.


Yesterday, it was revealed that Swazi government representatives had approached the crack South African police squad the Hawks to ask it to monitor the movements of the Swaziland Solidarity Network, a Johannesburg-based organisation that is one of the bodies publicly supporting the ‘uprising’. According to the Sunday Times, a South African newspaper, the Hawks refused.


Today (4 April 2011), it became public that labour unions in Swaziland planned a three-day protest next week, starting on 12 April.


Meanwhile, a report that cannot be independently verified is circulating that some foreign country ambassadors based in Swaziland approached King Mswati prior to the 18 March demonstrations that attracted about 8,000 people and warned him that if his state police or army caused violence during the protests there would be consequences from the international community.


Unusually for Swaziland, the protest which was demanding the immediate resignation of the entire government, passed peacefully.

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