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Eswatini marks 55 years of independence

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His Majesty King Mswati III greets guests at the 55th anniversary of independence at Somhlolo stadium

ESWATINI celebrated its 55th Independence Anniversary and King Mswati lll’s birthday on the 6th September.

The celebrations at the country’s independence stadium, Somhlolo was attended by world leaders including President Tsai Ing-wen of the Republic of China on Taiwan and King Letsie ll of Lesotho.

Addressing scores of thousands who filled the stadium, the King repeated his appeal for peace saying it is the greatest gift he can have on his birthday. This alluded to violent protests that followed hard COVID-19 restrictions in 2021 and 2022. The protests were seen to link with demands for political reforms and increased democratization in the Kingdom. In response to the disturbances, a national dialogue that will also discuss the disturbances are expected in October following ongoing general elections that end on 30 September.

The King who will chair the dialogue in line with the national constitution is then expected to appoint the Prime Minister. Incumbent head of government Cleopas Dlamini is expected to retain the position. 

The independence celebrations are held during a season of other significant national activities including the national Umhlanga celebration when the nation’s virgins collect reed from the rivers and deliver it at the national spiritual home of the Queen Mother.

This year the celebrations also included the International Trade Fair which was returning for the first time since 2019.

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