eSwatini Protests

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For the past six weeks, pro-democracy protesters in Eswatini have sporadically taken to the streets to express their displeasure with the rule of King Mswati III and to call for political reforms. At least 40 people have died and over 150 protesters have been hospitalized with injuries resulting from live ammunition or beatings by security forces. The king has ruled his southern African nation, which borders South Africa and Mozambique and was known until 2018 as Swaziland, for 35 years. It is Africa’s last absolute monarchy. Political parties are banned. Nearly two-thirds of the country’s 1.2 million people live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. Eswatini is also grappling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused nearly 700 deaths. But even as the government is struggling to pay teachers something that led to protests earlier this year the king and his 15 wives continue to live an opulent life.

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