According to eTurboNews sources, the situation in the Kingdom of Eswatini has calmed down, while the Internet remains down most of the time.
According to the government-friendly Times of Swaziland, the army is in charge of the Kingdom at this time.
SADC ministers arrived in Eswatini and held talks with government and civil society groups on Sunday.
A high-level government official told eTurboNews: “The insurgents are tricky as they come wearing camouflaged army uniforms. The destruction has been enormous and close to 30 deaths, mainly the looters who ran berserk from shop to shop. Some shop owners had to defend themselves.”
While the Internet is mostly shut down in the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) had informed the Eswatini nation that it would be a dominant sight countrywide in light of the current prevailing unrest, arson attacks on private and public properties, looting in outlets, harassment, and killing of innocent civilians.
The army was first deployed on the country’s streets last Tuesday after protesters went on a rampage and set properties, including buildings and trucks transporting various commodities, on fire.
This presence was heightened to townships, where looting of shops and barricading of roads using stones, logs and garbage bins became the order of the day. At the weekend UEDF public relations officer Lieutenant Tengetile Khumalo, representing Army Commander General Jeffrey Tshabalala, said “the defence force has since taken over the unfortunate situation”.
She said this was in fulfilment of the army’s mandate, which, among other things, is “to assist the civilian authority in maintaining law and order during volatile situations such as this”.
“The UEDF is proud to share with all emaSwati that ever since taking over from the situation, peace has been restored. The defence force has successfully protected many lives and properties, which were on the verge of destruction by the arsonists masquerading as ‘protesters’,” Lt Khumalo said.
She emphasised that the UEDF would continue to perform its core functions in protecting lives and the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Eswatini. She said they would do this “despite smear campaigns aimed at tainting the reputation of our establishment”.
The smear campaigns, the lieutenant said, were based on information they had reliably gathered that there were foreign insurgents who were participating in the ongoing strife, who went about shooting at innocent people and shifting the blame to the military.
“The UEDF would like to caution, these individuals to desist from their sporadic attacks on innocent civilians and arson attacks, to refrain from wearing a camouflage uniform that resembles ours,” Lt Khumalo said.
She called on the nation to co-operate “with our diligent troops on the ground and respect all curfews that have been set by government”. Lt Khumalo pleaded with parents to ensure that their children remained at home until the situation cleared.
“In fact, parents ought to warn their children against joining these ‘protesters’,” said the army PRO.
Lt Khumalo added: “To those who fail to abide by our requests, they will face the full wrath of our troops. The nation should not panic. The defence force is there to serve the nation.”An NGO, the Institute for Democracy and Leadership, has filed an urgent application at the High Court seeking an order to remove soldiers from the streets. – eTurboNews