Swaziland Communists Say They Are Developing a Campaign of 'Armed Struggle' to Topple King

The Communist Party in Swaziland is launching a campaign including sabotage and armed struggle to topple the absolute monarch King Mswati III.

It said, 'At an appropriate time, the regime and media in Swaziland must be notified of the intention to launch armed struggle. It should be made aware that the demand for Democracy Now! will be backed up by violent action.'

The party has been running a peaceful campaign for nearly 10 years calling for the unbanning of political parties, for freedom of assembly and media, and for free and fair elections, but said this was not bringing results.

It said, 'The response has simply been more oppression.'

In Swaziland (renamed eSwatini by the King) under a system of government called Tinkhundla, political parties cannot take part in elections and groups advocating for democracy (including the Communist Party) are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act. The King appoints the Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers as well as top judges and civil servants.

In a new statement issued by the Communist Party Central Committee (CC) called 'Towards a framework for developing armed struggle,' it said the party's campaign must be stepped up.

The statement circulated on social media said, 'We do not want to negotiate with the monarchy: it must abdicate and make way for democratic change under an interim administration.

'We are under no illusion that, given the many years in which we have been calling for freedom and democracy, the regime will embrace democracy and freedom for our people. The regime must be forced to give up power!'

It added, 'A sabotage campaign would be the most appropriate means of doing this.

'We are not in a position to wage warfare; terrorism is counter-productive; all-out or even elements of revolutionary war is unfeasible in our situation.

'We must also consider the scale of existing struggle in Swaziland, the small size of our country and very small population, the small number and size of urban areas, and so on.'

It said the campaign aimed to prevent the King's rule from functioning normally by disrupting power and communications. It also wanted to deter tourism and businesses from outside the kingdom, while also impeding the functioning of the Swazi sugar industry and other industries.

It said, 'In all cases the target must be infrastructure, not individuals.

'Threats and intimidation aimed at individuals amount to thuggish behaviour and must be avoided. An exception is when we aim to prevent top officials in the government, police, army from carrying out their work.

'It should not as far as possible aim to prevent our people going about their work and everyday lives.' It added, 'We would never target schools or other places of learning, hospitals etc. - though such soft sabotage targets might appear easy.

'The targets of sabotage should in every case be linked to the state and Tinkhundla system's capacity to function; to disrupting the scope for the government, monarchy, police, army, civil service to function.

'Particular attention should be given to disrupting government / monarchic digital communications through cyber warfare. This requires special expertise and assistance that must be worked out. We need to seek assistance from outside the country for this, possibly from friendly states.'

It said details of the means and forms of sabotage would be worked out by a small secretariat seconded from the Communist Party's CC. 'Secrecy is crucial, but the support of the CC and (trusted) membership must be secured.'

It said, 'At an appropriate time, the regime and media in Swaziland must be notified of the intention to launch armed struggle. It should be made aware that the demand for Democracy Now! will be backed up by violent action.'

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