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Eswatini celebrates 55 years of independence

Celebrations at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba in Eswatini on Sep. 05, 2023.   -  
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AP Photo


Africa's last absolute monarchy celebrated Wednesday (Sep. 06) its 55th independence anniversary.

King Mswati III of Eswatini paraded to cheering crowds gathered at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba.

As the monarch addressed his people, he had a word for the continent.

"On such an occasion, we cannot overlook the power struggles happening in Africa, especially in the northern part, where there is infighting. This is against the African spirit of peace as it derails the unpacking of programs such as the Africa free trade. Peace must be priority," the king said.

Among the leaders attending the festivities was Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen who kicked off a four-day visit on Tuesday (Sep. 05). She highlighted a doubly meaningful celebration.

"We have been proud to be an important partner to Eswatini. For more than five decades this partnership has been the epitome of progress and development."

Both countries signed agreements during the leader's visit.

Eswatini is Taiwan's last declared ally in Africa, with the rest of the continent aligning itself with China, which claims Taiwan as a territory.

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