Eswatini (until 2018 known as Swaziland, or Ngwane according to the name adopted by independence on 6 September 1968, but little in use) is one of the smallest states on the continent and is located on the eastern edge of the Republic of South Africa, between the Transvaal and Natal, bordering for a long stretch with Mozambique. Landlocked, it was previously a British protectorate. The country hosts, an uncommon case in Africa, a unitary ethnic group ruled by an ancient monarchy; also benefited by the climate and rich in natural resources, it is the most favored among the countries that gravitate to the area of South Africa with which the small state has very close ties also from an economic point of view.
Swaziland. In August, King Mswati dissolved the parliament ahead of the planned parliamentary elections in October. The decision was seen as an attempt to respond to the opposition’s call for voters to boycott the election. Political parties are banned in the country, which is then governed for a quarter of a century by decrees of the king. Only individual candidates are allowed, and even if they are nominated locally, they must in practice be accepted by the king. Before the election, police and military house surveys were conducted by several opposition leaders.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Swaziland is Mbabane. The election was described by the opposition as a father and was followed by unrest, among other things. several explosions. Shortly after the new government was sworn in in November, the Deputy Prime Minister’s office in the capital Mbabane was destroyed in an explosive attack. One person was killed and several injured. Three ministries had to be evacuated following threats of further blasts.
In April 1998, the King launched a plan to “conserve the environment” involving both public and private sectors. Five critical areas were identified in the country. At the same time, major construction projects were initiated such as bridge construction, changes in watercourses and the construction of irrigation systems for areas ravaged by the drought.
Although political parties continued to be banned, parliamentary elections were held in October. The opposition and trade union movement called for a boycott, and not many voters registered. The government responded again with a search of a number of opposition politicians’ homes.
A number of lawyers and prominent politicians – including the former Justice Minister – who were advisers to the King were charged with government fraud. Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini became involved in a marriage scandal when he was accused by the former husband of the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of destroying their marriage.
The permanent movements of the rural population created a positive attitude towards changes in the judiciary, the rights of the people and the resettlement policy. A report by the Ministry of Economic Development indicated that the main cause of rural poverty was forced displacement of the peasants. In January, a number of villages clashed with King’s officials as they set out to be forced to relocate. In October 2000, the government forced 40 families to give their land to one of the king’s brothers. The decision triggered demonstrations that paralyzed the country in the following days. The protesters simultaneously demanded civil rights and the implementation of labor laws.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does SWZ stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Swaziland.
In mid-2001 Mswati decreed that all inhabitants were banned from making fun of the king. At the same time, the royal decree gave the king the right to ban any publication that “does not conform to the Swazis’ morals and ideals.” The decree was immediately used to ban two opposition leaflets.
In March 2002, a petition for immediate food aid was issued to 200,000 people dying of rape. The corn reserves were exhausted and the usual supplier, South Africa, did not have sufficient reserves to export to Swaziland.
In October 2003, parliamentary elections were held and the King appointed Absalom Themba Dlamini as prime minister.
At the beginning of 2004, Mswati asked for DKK 15 million. US $ to build a palace for each of its 11 wives. At the same time, the Prime Minister declared that the country was facing a humanitarian disaster as a result of the lack of rain for the previous three years.
In June, the European Commission decided to support Swaziland and Lesotho with DKK 2 million. Euro to help the 100,000 victims of the previous 2 years of drought. In February, the areas were declared in exceptional condition. The emergency assistance should cover the distribution of food items.
In relation to the high values of rainfall, agriculture is almost everywhere possible; its expansion has however considerably reduced the spontaneous vegetation cover, represented however by a dense forest mantle in the Usutu valley, but with a prevalence of savannah expanses. After more than 70 years of absence, the white rhino has been reintroduced to the country together with the elephant and the lion, also extinct from these places. 3.1% of the surface is made up of protected areas, which are a refuge for many animals including various game species and hundreds of varieties of birds such as storks, sacred ibis and herons. The continuous demographic growth, which creates a greater demand for resources and food products, has caused a progressive increase in soil erosion and pollution of drinking water over the years. In addition, poaching is a serious problem for many animals threatened with extinction.