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eSwatini king invites his subjects for protest talks

King Mswati III has invited all his subjects to a meeting on Friday to discuss the political crisis in eSwatini…

King Mswati III has invited all his subjects to a meeting on Friday to discuss the political crisis in eSwatini where pro-democracy activists have clashed with security forces during the past few weeks over their demands for reforms.According to an eSwatini government statement, Mswati has called for an open forum discussion called a sibiya where his subjects would be able to voice their concerns.

The meeting is set for Friday at the Ludzidzini Royal Residence and will be attended by a delegation from the Troika of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. The SADC team is made up of officials from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe who have been tasking with the responsibility of resolving the crisis in Eswatini.

The sibiya comes at a time when eSwatini is on the edge following violent protests that claimed more than 50 people lives and resulted in massive damage to property.

Activists have, however, vowed to boycott the sibiya, arguing that the event is subject to manipulation since King Mswati is in charge of the whole process.

“If the king wishes to engage in dialogue, he should start by calling off his army from the streets and ending the curfew which has become unbearable to many Swazis,” the Swaziland Solidarity Network said in a statement.

 The activists have threatened to engage in a nationwide march on the same day when the king would be hosting the sibiya.    

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