Hundreds Protest in Swazi Capital

Posted September 5th, 2011 at 11:30 am (UTC-5)
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Hundreds of demonstrators have marched through the capital of Swaziland against the government of King Mswati III, considered Africa's last absolute monarch.

Heavy security surrounded the march in Mbabane, which is the first demonstration in what organizers say will be a planned week-long strike to press demands for better working conditions and increased pay, as well as calls for democracy.

The government had sought a court injunction to stop the strike.

Protests are planned for Swaziland's largest city, Manzini, on Tuesday, and are expected also to be held in countries where there are Swazi embassies.

Swaziland is in a financial crisis because of political mismanagment and corruption. South Africa recently agreed to give Swaziland a $343 million dollar bailout loan, contingent on reform.