Eswatini’s security forces used live ammunition to disperse nurses who were waging a pro-democracy protest, shooting at least 30 of them, the nurses’ union said Thursday.
The protests took place Wednesday (20/10), when the kingdom blocked internet access, making it difficult to gather information from across the country. Internet access was still cut off Thursday.
“Nurses and other workers gathered at Coronation Park were greeted with an unprecedented show of force by the police and army,” the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union said in a statement. Four people were treated for gunshot wounds, and a total of 30 health workers were treated for their injuries, he added.
The union said security forces continued to fire on nurses into the night, even as they went on night duty to the hospital.
The latest protests have lasted for more than two weeks, spearheaded by students, civil servants and transportation workers.
Five high school students arrested in the protests are expected to stand trial Thursday to face terrorism charges for their role in the movement for democracy.
At least 29 people have died since June in some of the worst unrest in the south African country’s history. [ka/ab]