Swaziland bans protests

MBABANE — Swaziland has banned protests planned for next week, Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said Thursday, warning the public not to join anti-government rallies in Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

In a strongly worded statement, he said organisers of the three days of protests planned to start Tuesday did not have permission to march.

“This then renders the protest illegal. We do not therefore expect any individual to participate in any such proposed protest action,” he said.

“Government accordingly strongly warns those organising and intending to participate in the protest action to refrain from doing so and continue with their normal day-to-day business,” Dlamini said.

He added that businesses would not pay workers who join the protest against the 25-year reign of King Mswati III, who has ruled over Swaziland since he was 18.
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