“As young people, we want liberation now, because the injustice to Swazis has long overstayed its time.”
After a coup and 22 years of authoritarian rule, The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh conceded power in elections on December 1. We can learn from The Gambia that we are stronger united than divided, says Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.
Swaziland and The Gambia are two of Africa’s smallest nations, both less than 20.000 km2 and with populations below 2 million. Both got their independence from Britain in the 1960s, and both are more or less engulfed by, and to a large degree dependent on, a much larger and more powerful neighbour.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), campaigning groups and labour-supporting members of the European parliament launched protests this month about the continued harassment and jailing of trade unionists and democracy campaigners in Swaziland. ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow has noted that, in Swaziland, “Violations against the fundamental rights of workers have become systemic”.