July 15, 2021
The European Union, United States, and United Kingdom missions welcome the calling of a Sibaya which allows HM King Mswati III to address his people, and represents an initial opportunity for citizens to express their views. It is critically important that HM King Mswati III, the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini, and those seeking political reforms commit to engaging in a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders in the country, including political parties, women’s and youth movements, trade unions and other civil society organizations, and agree to accept the outcome of a national dialogue.
Eswatini is at a critical moment where broad consensus on how to move forward from the recent violence and division in the country is needed. The diplomatic missions are engaging contacts at all levels of government and civil society, appealing to a constructive dialogue which should cover all relevant issues including requests to open the political space, to issue a clear statement that the 2005 Constitution revoked the ban on political parties under the 1973 Decree, and to guarantee media freedom and respect for human rights.
We urge HM King Mswati III to instruct all security forces to exercise maximum restraint in the application of force and end military deployments as soon as possible, and to recall the international human rights commitments and obligations of Eswatini. The forthcoming mission of the SADC Organ Troika is an important step toward dialogue and healing, and SADC is expected to take into account submissions from all relevant stakeholders, including a broad spectrum of civil society organizations, members of parliament, and opposition.
We condemn all the acts of violence and reiterate our deep regret at the fatalities and injuries suffered in recent weeks. We call on all parties to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful and speedy resolution. Justice must be given the space to investigate—independently and transparently—recent incidents that have resulted in loss of life, destruction of property, and disruption of livelihoods. All perpetrators, regardless of affiliation, must be held accountable.