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SADC meeting warns of escalating tensions in Eswatini

Presidents of SADC member states in Windhoek on Jan. 31, 2023. From left to right: Hage G. Geingob, Cyril Ramaphosa and Sam Matekane.   -  
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An extraordinary meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) took place on Tuesday in Namibia's capital, Windhoek.

The escalation of tensions in the kingdom of Eswatini was at the top of the agenda.

SADC's executive secretary Elias Mpedi Magosi welcomed the participants.

"I am honoured and privileged to welcome you to this extraordinary summit of the UN body's ministerial committee. Your presence here today is a continuing demonstration of your deep commitment to peace and security in the region", said SADC's executive secretary.

Tensions rose in the small landlocked kingdom of Eswatini, Africa's last absolute monarchy, where a respected lawyer and fierce opponent was recently murdered, provoking international outrage.

Since 2021 that Eswatini has been rocked by a pro-democracy protest movement.

In June 2021, at least 37 people were killed in violently suppressed anti-regime demonstrations. Limited protests and strikes have since continued sporadically

The kingdom has been ruled by King Mswati III since 1986

The ruler can dissolve parliament, the government and appoint or dismiss judges. He also commands the police and the army.

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