The European Union (EU) has told Swaziland’s King Mswati III he should take the lead in moving the kingdom to democracy.
An EU delegation in Swaziland has backed the Phadimisa Bokamoso ba Africa- led campaign for full democracy in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
King Mswati snubbed a three-day convention on democracy held in Swaziland last weekend (29 – 31 July 2011).
Amadou Traoré, EU Chargé d’Affaires to Swaziland, said EU fully supported the process that led to political talks on Swaziland facilitated by Phadimisa Bokamoso ba Africa.
Traore said the EU delegation would take civil society organisations’ demand for dialogue, as requested, to the Swazi Government.
‘But these discussions you are calling for on the future of your country must be an only Swazi affair. It is not for any foreign individual or organisation to interfere in this process.
This is your country; the EU cannot and will not do the work for you or in your place,’ the Times of Swaziland reported him saying.
Traoré said civil society organisations needed to convince their authorities the time for building a new Swaziland had indeed come. He said the advances contained in the Constitution on the freedom of association and the bill of rights, just to name a few provisions, should be fully implemented, the Times reported.
‘But more importantly you also need to convince your fellow citizens that this is the only way forward in a rapidly changing continent where people from Morocco to Egypt and youths from Senegal to Malawi are taking to the streets to defend their democratic rights to have more say in the running of their countries,’ he said.
DEMOCRATIC SWAZILAND CONVENTION