from SAMBULO DLAMINI in Mbabane, Eswatini
MBABANE, (CAJ News) – THE United States and Eswatini are probing the recent shooting of its embassy vehicle in the conflict-ridden Eswatini.
Officials from the Department of State revealed the vehicle was shot at in the capital Mbabane on July 1.
“We’re certainly aware of the incident,” Jalina Porter, the Principal Deputy spokesperson at the department, said at press briefing in the US.
It could not be ascertained who fired the gunshots but state security personnel have been accused of using ammunition against protesters.
“In Eswatini, however, there are… no embassy personnel were injured at the event, and the US Embassy Eswatini is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Eswatini to address the incident.”
Porter said the safety and security of US citizens and employees was their highest priority.
She proposed dialogue between the monarch and the aggrieved political activists, civil society and citizens.
King Mswati III is under increasing pressure to institute political reforms.
“We have a long and enduring relationship with the Kingdom of Eswatini, and, of course, in this moment of crisis we encourage all parties to resolve the situation peacefully and productively through inclusive dialogue,” Porter said.
Last Thursday, the US Embassy in Eswatini expressed disappointment that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika Organ departed after a single day without meeting all concerned parties.
It retained hope this would be achieved when the SADC delegation returned, at a date yet to be announced.
More than 60 civilians have reportedly been killed during the protests.
– CAJ News