President Cyril Ramaphosa engagement with King Mswati III of Eswatini

SADC chair President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the Kingdom of Eswatini will embark on a process that will work towards the establishment of a national dialogue forum. The announcement follows Ramaphosa’s one-day working visit to the kingdom to meet King Mswati III in an attempt to bring peace in the troubled country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in his capacity as Chair of the Southern African Development Community Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, concluded a one day working visit to the Kingdom of Eswatini. President Ramaphosa and His Majesty King Mswati held discussions on a broad range of matters relating to the political and security situation in the Kingdom. The deliberations resolved that the Kingdom of Eswatini will embark on a process that will work towards the establishment of a national dialogue forum. President Ramaphosa and King Mswati III agreed that the SADC Secretariat would work closely with the Government of Eswatini to draft terms of reference for the national dialogue forum. These terms of reference will specify processes for the forum as well as the composition of the forum.

The process towards the national dialogue will take into account and incorporate structures and processes enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini, including the role of the Parliament of the Kingdom, and the Sibaya convened by His Majesty King Mswati III. This preparatory process will take place during the coming three months, a period during which His Majesty will undertake his annual seclusion, mandatory Incwala ceremony. President Ramaphosa and His Majesty King Mswati III were at one in calling on all stakeholders among emaSwati to work together to end violence and conflict and maintain peace and calm in the Kingdom as work commences on the national dialogue process.

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called for an independent probe into the deadly crackdown on protests that rocked Eswatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, in June. The Eswatini government should urgently agree to an independent, international investigation into all of the killings and any other human rights violations resulting from excessive use of force. The call came as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was due to visit Eswatini on Tuesday, 02 November 2021, for talks with King Mswati III on “political and security developments” in the kingdom. Hundreds of people have been injured since demonstrations first erupted in June, in the worst unrest to hit the usually peaceful former British colony. Forty-six people died during the June protests; 245 people had gunshot injuries; 22 people had multiple gunshot injuries; and 118 people had unspecified injuries. Surviving victims said they were shot by the military. Justice and accountability for security forces violations should be central to any dialogue process, Human Rights Watch said

South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa and King Mswati III at the royal palace in Eswatini.

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