SADC, AU 'blind' to eSwatini rights abuses – expert
Publish date: 07 October 2019
Issue Number: 844
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The possibility of a regional organ such as SADC or a continental body like the AU making an intervention in eSwatini over human rights abuses in that country are slim, according to an expert. This follows Sunday's call by Cosatu which is pushing for SADC and the AU to act on human rights abuses in the aftermath of last week’s quelling of a peaceful protest march by about 8 000 public servants in Manzini. The Citizen reports that police used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas on protesting workers, part of the public servants’ strike for salary increases. Cosatu said SADC and the AU should 'stop pretending as though all is normal and well-functioning in that country'. On whether it was feasible for SADC or the AU to put pressure on the government to adhere to internationally acceptable conventions in dealing with demonstrations, SA Institute of International Affairs head of African governance and diplomacy Steven Gruzd said both organisations 'have always turned to protect leaders rather than fulfilling the desires of people'.