AFRICA/ESWANTINI – Appeals for dialogue to overcome the crisis are multiplying

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Mbabane – The alarms of international organizations are multiplying over the situation in the small southern African state of Eswantini . After the appeal for reconciliation launched at the Angelus on Sunday, July 4 , the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also asked “the government to guarantee that investigations are carried out in a timely, transparent, effective, independent and impartial manner on all allegations of human rights violations, including those committed by the police in the context of demonstrations, and that those responsible are held accountable. The spate of violence taking place throughout the country and the damage to people’s properties is concerning, as reports show dozens of people killed or injured in protests to demand democratic reforms”. The Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa condemned “extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate arrests , abductions and torture” committed by the police forces in the repression of the protests. In their statement, sent to Fides, the members of IMBISA also condemn “the destruction of both public and private property” because it is damage inflicted “on the common good since property is necessary for the integral development of the Country”. In a note dated July 2, sent to Fides, the Council of Churches of Swaziland expresses great concern about the wave of violence that is occurring throughout the country and the damage to people and property”. The leaders of the Christian confessions of Esuantini wonder what the causes of the crisis are. “The Covid-19 that has affected the whole world disturbed the lives of many
people to the extent that they lost their jobs, thus exacerbating the high levels of poverty already
existing in the country. Non availability of job opportunities rendered the youth vulnerable and frustrated”. This generated a wave of protests which were brutally suppressed. If most of the looting was the work of the demonstrators – the statement said – the police were responsible for extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and torture. “We are also
hearing stories of people who have been abducted from their homes by security agents and relatives are still looking for them”, they denounce. “Nobody alone has the solution to get out of the crisis”, say Christian leaders, who point to the path of dialogue as the only way to find a compromise solution that can be accepted by all parties.