The government of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, on Monday (11/10) deployed soldiers and police to several schools to contain protests by students in the country.
Students continue to protest against the government for immediate political reform. High school students in the African kingdom have been boycotting classes for the past month.
In the protest, the students have several demands, among which is demanding the release of two MPs who were arrested in pro-democracy protests earlier this year.
“The army is not the enemy of the people. Sending them to schools does not mean there is a war but only helps other troops to maintain order,” army spokesman Tengetile Khumalo said, the news agency reported. AFP.
However, the deployment of the army is likely to add to the international criticism of the country. Eswatini has come under fire in recent months for using excessive force against protesters. At least 27 people have died in clashes with police in recent months.
In July, the national army arrested two pro-democracy lawmakers on charges of carrying out terrorist acts for inciting riots and violating COVID-19 regulations.
The arrests of the two MPs, Mthandeni Dube and Mduduzi Mabuza, sparked more protests and international condemnation. (ka/lt)