from SAMBULO DLAMINI in Mbabane, Eswatini
MBABANE, (CAJ News) – SOME political parties and civil society organisations have called for the involvement of the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) to resolve the crisis in Eswatini.
This would complement efforts by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) whose intervention has nonetheless has been criticised amid alleged lack of impartiality.
“A SADC, AU and UN supported resolution of the current crisis and a lasting solution to the pro-longed governance crisis is needed,” said Thulani Rudolph Maseko, the chairperson of the Institute for Democracy and Leadership Multi-stakeholders Coordinating Team.
The sentiments are carried in a letter addressed to SADC Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC Fact-Finding Mission to the Kingdom of eSwatini and SADC Troika.
He disclosed that some political parties and civil society on Monday met and adopted a common position regarding the process of intervention by the Troika.
A five-point plan remains the guiding principles for engagement.
The plan includes calls for all-inclusive mediated political dialogue/negotiation, total unbanning of political parties, a transitional executive authority, a new democratic constitution and a multiparty democratic dispensation.
“Your Excellency, we respectfully request that, if possible, you return to the Kingdom within one week and meet with the all stakeholders under one roof to avoid the country potentially relapsing into open conflict which is not in the interest of anyone,” Maseko stated.
Eswatini, Africa’s absolute monarchy, is experiencing its worst political crisis since independence in 1968.
Human rights groups alleged over 50 people have been killed during a wave of protests in recent weeks.
Elizabeth Throssell, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday said her office had received allegations of “disproportionate and unnecessary use of force”, harassment and intimidation by security forces, including the use of live ammunition by police.
She urged the authorities in Eswatini to fully adhere to human rights principles in restoring calm and the rule of law.
“We also call on the Government to ensure that there are prompt, transparent, effective, independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations”, she added.
– CAJ News