Eswatini: Global unions condemn brutal attack on civilians

photo: AFP

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Education International (EI) and Public Service International (PSI) have condemned the latest attacks by state forces in Eswatini on working people.

On 20 October, public sector workers were assaulted by police on their way to deliver a petition calling for a salary review, decent working conditions and basic trade union rights.

Reports say that at least 80 people have been injured in the violence in the capital, Mbabane, and the city of Manzini.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “We condemn outright this latest brutal assault on the people of Eswatini, and our thoughts are with the injured people and their families.

“It’s clear what the government has got to fix the situation: investigate and prosecute those responsible for this attack, and formally commit to a path to democracy that includes trade unions, civil society and political parties.

“The international community, including the UN, the SADC, the African Union and the Commonwealth – all of whose rules the regime in Eswatini is breaking – must take a stand against these flagrant abuses.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Eswatini and their fight for workers’ rights and democracy. The government there must understand that they can’t crush this movement and that they must start talking.”