International Weekly Monitor 20 January 2023

Contents

  1. Greece January 17 National Strike of Workers in Local Authorities
  2. Solidarity with the 19 January general strike of the workers in France, for the defense of their retirement!
  3. The WFTU condemns the authoritarian and anti-democratic attack of the Peruvian regime against civil and trade union freedoms
  4. German parliament’s Yezidi genocide recognition is a crucial step: German FM
  5. SDF Commander-in-Chief expects Turkish attack in February: Al Monitor
  6. Palestinian President Urges to Stop Israel's Extremist Measures
  7. Russian FM Accuses West of Contributing to Ukraine Crisis
  8. US Coercion Against Latin America Is Illegal, SSLR Article Says
  9. China Makes Official Donation of $100 Million to Cuba
  10. Venezuela Rejects US Willigness To Keep Its Arbitrary Sanctions
  11. US to build military industrial base in Morocco
  12. President of Republic receives South African delegation representing ANC
  13. Sahrawi Army targets the positions of Moroccan occupation forces in Farsiya sector
  14. The EU Parliamentary Group "Peace for Western Sahara" holds meeting in light of corruption issues and Morocco's involvement in what has become known as Maroc-Gate
  15. KILLING OF CIVILIANS: Meet King Mswati’s powerful,influential Russian trained Secret State Intelligence Officer.
  16. PUDEMO SECRETARY GENERAL:We will engage and educate public on multiparty democracy elections.
  17. Eswatini pro-democracy groups warn Russia against supporting eSwatini conflict to create a market for weapons.
  18. King Mswati’s white hitmen who kill political activists linked to Finance Neal Rijikernberg’s Montingy Investments.
  19. South Africa: Undocumented Children Struggle to Find Schools
  20. Scabies Outbreak in Swaziland while Mswati expropriates more wealth for his family
  21. Netanyahu, US Security Advisor Discuss Israel-Saudi Arabia Normalization

Greece January 17 National Strike of Workers in Local Authorities

18 Jan 2023

Under the main slogan “STOP the employers’ crimes”, “protection measures here and now” a national strike of workers in local authorities took place with mobilizations in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and other cities.

The strike was triggered by the new industrial “accident” in the municipality of Xylokastro, where a 45-year-old worker, mother of 5 children, was killed in the garbage truck she was working. This was a continuation of the dozens of industrial “accidents” that have occurred in recent years in municipalities throughout the country and brought to the surface all the causes and responsibilities of mayors and governments.

In fact, the worker who lost her life in Xylokastro was uninsured, working in conditions of “black work”, with the responsibility of the municipal authority, which exploiting the known “loopholes” of the laws of all governments “hired” her overdue, when she had already lost her life!

In Athens, the slogan of the strike was given at dawn by the Attica Local Authorities Workers’ Union, with a symbolic occupation of the offices of the Independent Labour Inspection Authority , where they put up a giant banner on the front of the building. “64 workers dead – thousands crippled. Governments – mayors send us to our death – the Labour Inspection absent. All on strike”

A march to the parliament followed, with strikers chanting slogans such as “with a galley regime for workers, the employers’ profits increase” and “unpaid work and sweatshops everywhere, this is the rot of capitalism”.

Sp. Kostantas, cadre of PAME, speaking at the rally stated “the government and mayors see the health and safety of workers as a “cost”. There were “accidents” under all government, with 64 fatal labour “accidents” have occurred since 2014 to date. No more”

Video
Twitter
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Solidarity with the 19 January general strike of the workers in France, for the defense of their retirement!

18 Jan 2023

The World Federation of Trade Unions, which represents 105 million affiliates in more than 130 countries around the world, expresses its solidarity with the workers of France who are called for a general strike and demonstrations throughout the country on Thursday January 19, 2023 against the Macron government’s plan to raise the legal retirement age to 64.

The WFTU recalls that the French Social Security, which is an achievement resulting from the workers’ resistance against the Nazi occupation and which was set up by Ambroise Croizat, the CGT leader and communist Minister of Labor at the Liberation, is far from being in bankruptcy.

It is put in financial difficulty by the exemptions from huge social security contributions that the Macron government grants to the big capitalist monopolies.

The WFTU trusts in the great combativeness of the workers of France and their class struggle unions, which are many of its affiliates, to defeat this government attack as they did during the historic general strike from December 2019 to March 2020, when the Macron government had to withdraw its unjust reform.

As usual, the WFTU and its affiliates from the 5 continents will support the struggle of the workers of France until victory!

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17 Jan 2023

The WFTU expresses its full solidarity with the CGTP leader of the San Martin region, Henri Wuiliian Mena Salazar, arrested by the repressive forces and prisoner of the regime, and demands the immediate release of all prisoners imprisoned for their political and trade union activities.

The WFTU calls on its members to express their solidarity with the Peruvian people and the class unions of the country and to condemn the anti-democratic and authoritarian practices of the regime that continues to abuse power in a practical way

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German parliament’s Yezidi genocide recognition is a crucial step: German FM

19 January 2023

“We know that no parliamentary decision can eradicate their suffering. But I deeply believe that this decision will make a difference.”

Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Thursday evening underlined that the recognition of the Yezidi genocide by the German parliament is a “crucial step in acknowledging their suffering and justice for survivors.”

The German Parliament on Thursday recognized the Yezidi genocide carried out by ISIS in August 2014, a step that was welcomed by Kurdish leaders.

“Three years ago, I saw Yezidi women in northern Iraq: kidnapped, enslaved, raped. Their pain still haunts me. The Bundestag (German parliament) has decided to call ISIS's crimes against the Yezidis as what they are: a genocide,” Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a tweet in two dialects of Kurdish and German.

“We know that no parliamentary decision can eradicate their suffering. But I deeply believe that this decision will make a difference: a crucial step in acknowledging their suffering and justice for survivors,” she added.

Thousands of Yezidis fled to Germany after the Yezidi genocide. As a result, the largest Yezidi diaspora today lives in Germany, where they have their own temple.

“Today, our country is home to the largest Yazidi diaspora in the world. We also owe today's vote to their tireless commitment,” she also said.

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Thursday welcomed the decision by the German Parliament to recognize the Yezidi genocide, adding he hopes practical steps will be taken to compensate for the suffering of the religious minority.

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SDF Commander-in-Chief expects Turkish attack in February: Al Monitor

20 January 2023

“We take Turkey’s threats seriously. We expect an attack in February."

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi told Al Monitor reporter Amberin Zaman on Monday that the SDF expects a Turkish attack in February.

“We take Turkey’s threats seriously. We expect an attack in February,” he said in the interview.

“The town of Kobani is a likely target because of its symbolic meaning for Kurds worldwide. Turkey is heading for elections, and we are aware that President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan wants to rally nationalist support and it seems he believes that attacking Rojava can serve this purpose.”

The Turkish general elections are planned for June 2023. Since November of 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened a ground offensive in Syria. Due to Russian and US opposition, however, the offensive has not been carried out, yet.

Russia also has pushed Turkey to reconcile with Damascus, and a meeting between Defence ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria was held in December.

In the meanwhile, drone strikes have continued this year. On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin, said that "a ground operation is possible any time.”

Moreover, SDF Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi told Al Monitor that they will resist a Turkish attack. “This won’t be like the other times, like Afrin, like Serekaniye. And this means our operations against the Islamic State will be put on hold.”

Russian forces on Tuesday visited the town of Kobani and met with Kurdish leaders amidst the Turkish threats, reported North Press.

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Palestinian President Urges to Stop Israel's Extremist Measures

20 January 2023

Mahmoud Abbas held a meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Ramallah.

On Thursday, President Mahmoud Abbas called on the U.S. government to intervene to stop the Israeli new government's measures against the Palestinians "before it is too late."

Abbas made the remarks during a meeting held at his office in the city of Ramallah with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

While calling on the U.S. to intervene to stop what he termed as "the Israeli government's extremist measures," Abbas accused Israel of destroying the remaining chances for peace and stability in the region, according to news agency WAFA.

Abbas briefed Sullivan "about the destructive measures and crimes that the new Israeli government is taking with the aim of destroying the two-state solution and the signed peace agreements," according to the report.

The Palestinian leader said the U.S. should stop Israel's unilateral measures and violations, including the expansion of settlements, killings, storming of Palestinian cities and towns, and deducting Palestinian tax dues.

"The Palestinian leadership will not accept the continuation of these Israeli crimes and will confront them and defend the rights, land, and sanctities of the Palestinian people," Abbas told Sullivan.

Abbas stressed the importance of the U.S. fulfilling its commitments to preserve the two-state solution, stop settlement activity, and maintain the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem.

He also called on Washington to reopen the U.S. consulate office in Jerusalem and reopen the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, which was closed during former U.S. President Donald Trump's tenure.

Since early January, the tension between Israel and the Palestinians has been rising. Around 17 Palestinians have been killed, and dozens of others were injured by Israeli soldiers since the start of the year, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Palestinian officials have warned against the Israeli escalation against the Palestinians, particularly after the formation of the new Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which is the most rightist in Israel's history.

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Russian FM Accuses West of Contributing to Ukraine Crisis

19 January 2023

Lavrov said that the West has staked a great deal on its war against Russia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the Ukraine crisis is "the result of preparations by the United States and its satellites for the start of a global hybrid war" against his country.

The West is trying to prove that they are not fighting Russia but are only helping Ukraine respond to an "aggression" and restore its territorial integrity, Lavrov said at his annual press conference, adding that the scale of their support makes it clear that the West has staked a great deal on its war against Russia.

As for the prospects for negotiations between Russia and the West on the Ukraine issue, Lavrov said that Russia is ready to consider serious proposals, but there haven't been any so far.

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US Coercion Against Latin America Is Illegal, SSLR Article Says

16 January 2023

The paper published by this University focuses on analyzing the U.S. policy on Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to demonstrate its impact on the lives of these countries people.

Last month, the Sorbonne Student Law Review (SSLR) published a 51-pages research entitled “The U.S. Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCM) Imposed in Latin America," by Geneve University Ph.D. student Andrea Dias, who condemned the consequences of the U.S. sanctions on Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

“Although there is still a long way to adopt a universal definition about what constitutes unlawful coercion, it is sure that UCM adds teeth to international diplomacy,” Dias said, arguing that these strategies escalate disputes and increase tensions between countries.

The article focuses on analyzing three study cases, which were carefully selected to demonstrate how the UCM operates as “a tool of foreign policy” that seeks to obtain the subordination of adversaries.

“The most practicable starting point to consider the nature, the scope, and the impact of unilateral coercive measures is the Cuban case,” the article states, stressing that the U.S. blockade has caused accumulated losses to the Island of over US$933 billion.

This UCM prohibits transactions in U.S. currency, trade with American companies, and the export of medical equipment and technologies, which impairs the development of the nation’s agricultural and food processing sectors. Additionally, it blocks Cuba’s access to International Financial Institutions and imposes restrictions on third countries that trade with the Island.

“From 1981 to 1990, the U.S. implemented UCMs against Nicaragua to overthrow the Sandinista government. This strategy comprised mining Nicaraguan ports, conducting military maneuvers, imposing a trade embargo, and arming the Contras far-right military group,” Dias also recalled.

Nevertheless, she considered that the U.S. measures imposed against Venezuela are more extensive given that they have paralyzed the economy, blocked oil exportation, and frozen Venezuelan financial assets abroad while denying access to international financial systems.

The article also explores the contributions of Latin American countries to resisting and condemning the use of these measures. The paper qualifies as “laudable” the efforts made by Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela internationally to counteract UCM.

“Since 1992, Cuba has gained nearly universal consensus to reject the U.S. blockade by presenting several resolutions to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the matter.

In 1986, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) also recognized the U.S. support to the Contras group and a UN Special Rapporteur assessed the impact of UCM measures on the lives of Venezuelan people,” the author stressed.

Dias also highlighted that Latin America is divided on UCM matters. "While some countries in this region reject unilateral practices in their territories, others prove an enthusiasm toward the UCM, supporting the approach defended by the U.S.," the paper reads.

Nevertheless, the author considered that Latin American countries are likely to reach a consensus on the UCM illegality soon thanks to the triumph of leftist governments.

"The international community should continue paving the way to legally qualify coercive practices as 'Internationally Wrongful Acts' and adopt a set of guidelines, a declaration, or a legally binding instrument to regulate the use of UCM in international relations," Dias argued.

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China Makes Official Donation of $100 Million to Cuba

18 January 2023

The donation "will be destined to the execution of projects of high social impact," said the Cuban ambassador to China.

Cuba's ambassador to China, Carlos Pereira, and the vice-president of the China International Development Cooperation Agency, Tang Wenhong, signed a cooperation agreement formalizing the donation of 700 million yuan, equal to 100 million dollars, on Wednesday.

"We signed a cooperation agreement that formalizes a $100 million donation granted by China during the visit of President Miguel Díaz-Canel in November 2022," the Cuban ambassador said via Twitter.

According to the official, the donation "will be destined to the execution of projects of high social impact." Pereira said it is ratification "of China's strategic participation in our economic and social development plans."

In this regard, both Pereira and Wenhong reviewed the progress made in the bilateral cooperation agenda and the implementation of the agreements reached during the official visit of the Cuban President to China.

In late November, the Cuban President paid an official visit to China, which he considered satisfactory and above his expectations.

The Chinese government is committed to Cuba's development based on cooperation, Díaz-Canel said, highlighting biotechnology; the energy sector; and the fields of information technology and cybersecurity in the collaboration between the two nations.

Cuba and China also develop bilateral cooperation in education and science. Diplomatic relations between the two nations date back to 1960, with Cuba being the first Latin American country to establish ties with China.

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Venezuela Rejects US Willigness To Keep Its Arbitrary Sanctions

17 January 2023

"We thought that the U.S. was going to lift the sanctions after their failure. This, however, has not been the case," Venezuelan Chancellor Gil said.

On Monday, Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Minister Yvan Gil rejected the stance assumed by the U.S. State Department, which said that it would keep the sanctions against this South American country until the Bolivarian government guarantees a "return of democracy".

“The application of this policy represents a crime against humanity," Gil tweeted, stressing that the U.S. objective of overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro has failed.

"We thought that the U.S. was going to lift the sanctions after their failure. This, however, has not been the case," he said, pointing out his people's will of overcoming the imperialist vileness.

On Thursday, Maduro asked President Joe Biden to lift all sanctions applied against Venezuela, arguing that these policies are illicit and injustice.

"Imperialism and its extremist lackeys stole us about US$411 million a day over the last eight years through the coercive policies applied against us,” the Venezuelan president recalled.

However, on Monday, the U.S. State Department declared that it would continue to pressure the Bolivarian government with sanctions as long as Maduro continues "to repress" the Venezuelan people and "divert resources for corrupt practices".

Ahead of this declaration, the President announced that he will consolidate the fight for the defense of Venezuela and the Constitution before national and international threats as part of his 2023 work lines.

"I believe in peace as a basis for national coexistence and reaching agreements," Maduro said and ratified the need to advance in the construction of socialism.

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US to build military industrial base in Morocco

17 January 2023

US President Joe Biden has instructed Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to prepare an emergency plan to establish an American military industrial base in the Kingdom of Morocco, the New York Daily News has reported. The plan was proposed during a high-level meeting at the end of December when Biden and Austin discussed America's new global military strategy.

Biden has told Austin to push the Pentagon to facilitate the logistical and legal aspects of US defence industry investments in Morocco. The strengthening of Rabat's leading role in combating terrorism, as well as its integration into the international military equation, will be achieved by developing its technical military capabilities, it is intended.

According to media sources in the US, before his meeting with Austin, Biden received a detailed report from CIA Director William Burns on the expansion of Russia's influence in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Algeria and the Sahel and Sahara countries.

The CIA report said that Russia not only strongly supports the Algerian regime militarily and politically, but is also discussing the establishment of a large logistical base that would give it an important outlet to countries located south of the Sahara Desert. "This," said the agency, "will threaten the interests of Washington and its allies there."

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President of Republic receives South African delegation representing ANC

16 January 2023

resident of the Republic, Secretary-General of the Polisario Front, Mr. Brahim Ghali, received on Monday a delegation from the Republic of South Africa representing the African National Congress headed by Mr. Obed Bapela, Minister of the Government of South Africa and member of the African National Congress (ANC), on the sidelines of the 16th Congress of the Polisario Front.

The meeting focused on ways to strengthen relations and ties between the Sahrawi Republic and the Republic of South Africa, during which the South African delegation expressed the commitment of the ANC Party to continue its support for the Sahrawi cause, wishing the Polisario Front success in its 16th Congress and achieving the desired goals that would reinforce the struggle for victory and independence.

For his part, the President of the Republic appreciated the participation of the ANC in the work of the 16th Congress of the Polisario Front, considering it a reflection of the depth of the strong relations that unite the two parties and the two brotherly countries.

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Sahrawi Army targets the positions of Moroccan occupation forces in Farsiya sector

19 January 2023

The unites of the Saharawi People's Liberation Army bombed the positions of the Moroccan occupation soldiers in the Farsiya sector, according to Military Communiqué No. 718 issued today, by the Ministry of National Defense.

The Communiqué indicated that advanced units of the Sahrawi Army targeted the Moroccan occupation forces in Ross-Lghsaybeyin area in the Farsiya sector.

The same source added that units of the Saharawi People's Liberation Army focused their attacks earlier on Wednesday, targeting the positions of the Moroccan invading forces in the Mahbas sector and in the areas of Al-Sheidmiya, Ross Al-Sabti, Sabkhat Tanushad, La'Aghed and Aghraret Al-Farsigh.

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The EU Parliamentary Group "Peace for Western Sahara" holds meeting in light of corruption issues and Morocco's involvement in what has become known as Maroc-Gate

18 January 2023

European Parliamentary Group of Solidarity with the Sahrawi People held a meeting in the European Parliament, chaired by Mr. Andreas Scheider, and in the presence of a member of the Polisario Front’s representation in Europe, Mr. Bassiri Moulay El Hassan.

The meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the public session of the European Parliament, held in Strasbourg between January 16 and 20, 2023, dealt in particular with Morocco's involvement in corruption scandals within the European Parliament, or what has become known as Maroc Gate, where members of the parliamentary group confirmed that the policy of bribery and the role of the Moroccan pressure groups within the European Parliament had a clear role in the European Parliament’s boycott of decisions related to human rights in Western Sahara, as well as in passing illegal agreements between the EU and Morocco, which included Western Sahara lands and territorial waters.

The EU Parliamentary Group "Peace for Western Sahara" stressed the need to conduct an investigation into Morocco's involvement, especially with regard to the suspicious vote on the fishing and trade agreement that included Western Sahara, in light of the clear rulings of the European Court of Justice in this regard.

Mrs. Ana Miranda, Vice President of the Group, submitted a presentation on the participation of a delegation of the Parliamentary Group in the work of the 16th Congress of the Polisario Front, stressing that the message of the Sahrawi people and their political leadership centered on intensifying efforts at all levels to grab the Sahrawi people right to self-determination and independence.

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KILLING OF CIVILIANS: Meet King Mswati’s powerful,influential Russian trained Secret State Intelligence Officer.

15 January, 2023

Senior Superintendent Sikhumbuzo Dictor Gwebu of Lubulini is a little known but powerful and influential police officer who normally meets with King Mswati privately to discuss State security issues.

This is one of the few senior officers who are hardly seen wearing police uniform in public,however, when he visits any police station to request a vehicle on urgent basis, officers are not allowed to ask questions but simply release the vehicle.

An independent investigation conducted by this Swaziland News uncovered that the secret State Intelligence Officer is the son of Elphas Bhoshobane Gwebu, but was raised by Boshobane’s brother of Lubulini.

The State secret Intelligence Officer normally drives in Government vehicles without number plates when conducting his State duties,very few police officers know him.

An investigation conducted by this publication uncovered that the secret State Intelligence Officer studied law at the University of Eswatini(UNESWA),around 2003,he was then sent to Russia for intelligence training.

Gwebu’s name started emerging after the abduction and subsequent killing of Muzi Mmema, the Deputy Secretary General of the Swazis First Democratic Front(SFDF),his cellphone was allegedly connected to cellphone towers located along the Ntontozi,Malkerns,Mahlanya and Luyengo corridor on the day of the kidnapping.

But at this stage of the investigation and apart from the network connection,there’s no direct evidence linking him to the killing of Mmema.However,concerned State Intelligence officers shared some information confirming that indeed, Senior Superintendent Gwebu was allegedly part of King Mswati’s hit squad.

One insider very close to the senior cop shared critical information linking him to other secret State operations,however, part of the information cannot be revealed as it might easily gives an idea about the identity of our source.

“It’s important to profile him so that he can be known, he is more powerful than the National Commissioner because he can meet the King anytime.There are officers in this country who are not known but conduct these operations, in the language of State Security, these officers are known as Secret State Intelligence officers or agents,”said an insider.

Reached for comments,senior cop Sikhumbuzo Dictor Gwebu said it was true that he was hardly seen in a police station.

“I work at the Police Headquarters not in Police Stations.It’s true that I did go to Russia, but it was about criminal investigations,”said the senior cop.

It has been disclosed that recently, the senior cop was introduced at Lubulini Police Station,but thereafter he never set foot there,he was also introduced in Nhlangano.

Secret State Intelligence officers in eSwatini conduct undercover operations including tracing, profiling and assassinating those calling for democratic reforms.

The State intelligence agency can and does access citizens’ private communications illegally.

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PUDEMO SECRETARY GENERAL:We will engage and educate public on multiparty democracy elections.

9 January 2023

Wandile Dludlu,the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO)says as a political organization, they have launched a campaign that seeks to, among other things,educate the public about multiparty democracy.

“It’s true that we have launched a campaign, it’s about educating the public about multiparty democracy and elections.We will educate them about their rights and significance of their votes and the difference between the Tinkhundla undemocratic elections and multiparty,” said the Secretary General.

Eswatini is ruled by Mswati as an absolute Monarch, political parties are banned from participating in elections.

The King appoints the Prime Minister, Ministers, Chiefs, Judges, a majority of Senators and all members of the various Governing Councils.

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Eswatini pro-democracy groups warn Russia against supporting eSwatini conflict to create a market for weapons.

18 January 2023

Eswatini pro-democracy groups have warned Russia against supporting the ongoing conflict in eSwatini to create a market for its weapons.

This comes amid allegations suggesting that Russia was secretly training King Mswati’s soldiers and the police who kill protesting civilians.

Alexander Surikov,the Russian Ambassador to eSwatini denied the allegations when addressing journalists during a press conference held at the in Mbabane on Wednesday.

“We are not training soldiers from Eswatini,we are only giving scholarships for higher military education,”said the Ambassador.

Speaking to this Swaziland News on Wednesday,Sibongile Mazibuko,the President of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress(NNLC) warned Russia not to secretly support the conflict by aiding Mswati with an intention of creating a market to supply weapons of war.

“We are worried because Russia is selling weapons of war and in the midst of this conflict,they might see an opportunity to sell their weapons.If the Ambassador is telling the truth that they are not supporting this regime,let them support and facilitate a political dialogue,”said the President of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress.

Eswatini is ruled by Mswati as an absolute Monarch with Executive, Judicial and Legislative powers, political parties are banned from participating in elections.

The political unrest erupted in June 2021,the citizens are demanding democratic reforms.

But King Mswati responded by unleashing soldiers and the police to shoot and kill dozens of civilians, he subsequently refused to participate in a dialogue.

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King Mswati’s white hitmen who kill political activists linked to Finance Neal Rijikernberg’s Montingy Investments.

16 January 2023

King Mswati’s alleged white hitmen who kill political activists and human rights defenders are allegedly linked to Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg’s Montigny Investments, their company is training security officers at Montigny forests.

The alleged foreign mercenaries allegedly killed Mlandvo Khumalo, a member of the pro-democracy Swaziland International Solidarity Forces(SISF) in a joint operation with the army.

It has been disclosed that the alleged hitmen are owning a security company that is contracted to giant companies that include the the Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation(RESC), their payment does not come directly from Government.

An independent investigation conducted by this Swaziland News uncovered that the superiors of the security company owned by the alleged hitmen and or foreign mercenaries were secretly training other Swazis including State security officers.

Reached for comments,Montigny Investments Spokesperson Sihle Mavuso denied any knowledge of the alleged hitmen,regarding the training of State security officers within the Montigny forests,he referred questions to Government Spokesperson.

“Montigny Investments Limited is one of the premier forestry and saw-milling companies in Southern Africa, and is certainly not aware of any ‘hitmen’ training within the forests, or of any ‘hitmen’ sourced by the Honorable Minister of Finance. Questions regarding the training of any State Security Officers should be directed to the relevant Government Spokesperson,”said the Montigny Spokesperson.

The name of the security company owned by the alleged mercenaries cannot be revealed for now pending further investigations.

A questionnaire was sent to Government Spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo,however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

Reached for comments,human rights lawyer Sibusiso Nhlabatsi said it was unfortunate that Government was quiet amid reports and evidence suggesting that there were foreign mercenaries in the country killing civilians.

“These allegations about foreign mercenaries were first highlighted by Princess Sikhanyiso after the killing of civilians by State security officers. Now, it’s no longer an allegation, people are taking pictures of these alleged mercenaries going around the country terrorizing civilians and it is alleged that they were hired by the State. It is the duty of the Government to protect civilians and in the event citizens are suspected of committing a crime, the Government must arrest those suspects, not to hire mercenaries to kill them,” said the human rights lawyer.

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South Africa: Undocumented Children Struggle to Find Schools

13 January 2023

Instead of being in school some beg at traffic lights
• Many children of immigrant parents who are undocumented are struggling to get places in South African schools.
• The online school registration placement system requires documentation and most public schools insist on it.
• Private schools will accept undocumented children but the fees are too high for most parents.

It is 10am and nine-year-old Michael is begging at a set of traffic lights in Johannesburg. Most children his age are back at school after the holidays. But Michael is undocumented.

Michael has not been in school since 2021, when he used to attend a private school. His family could not afford to keep him there, and the school had also given him notice that he must show some documentation if he was to continue classes.

His two siblings, and their mother, a widow, sometimes join Michael at the robots to beg from motorists. They usually spread out to increase their chances of getting something.

Michael and one of his sisters were born in South Africa. The younger one was born in Zimbabwe but came to South Africa as a baby. The older used to attend school but the younger one has never been to school.

“Why are you not in school?” motorists have asked. The children don’t know how to answer. They want to go to school.

“I want to be in school but my mother says we have no papers. Standing at the robots is boring, but we have no choice, because we need food,” says Michael.

“Not being able to send my children to school is heartbreaking. My children have neither Zimbabwean nor South African papers because we have been in Johannesburg for a long time,” says Michael’s mother.

The online school placement system requires documents to register, so parents go in person to schools, door to door, only to be turned away. Michael’s mother tried several public schools but they insisted she bring documents.

Some private schools will take undocumented children, but they charge fees that range from R500 to R1,500 a month. Most undocumented immigrant parents do not have a sufficient or stable enough income to cover this.

Smangaliso, from Bulawayo but originally from Mozambique, only acquired Zimbabwean citizenship a few years ago. She brought her grandchildren, aged nine and 11, to Johannesburg three years ago after their father passed away. She has not found a public school prepared to take them without documents.

“It’s not easy back home in Bulawayo. At least here [Johannesburg] I can buy food with the money I make from selling sweets … My grandchildren need an education … I don’t know what to do,” she says.

Rudo, a secretary by profession, lost her job because of the Covid pandemic. Her children have been at home for the past year because she cannot afford the R950 a month she was paying to keep them in a private school.

“South Africa is the only home they know. All I want is for them to go to school, but it is not as easy as that,” she says.

Zimbabwe Isolated Women in South Africa (ZIWISA) has compiled a database of children living in the inner-city of Johannesburg who are in this predicament.

“There are close to 1,000 migrant children from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Congo and Lesotho we have registered so far who are not going to school due to lack of documentation,” says Ethel Musonza of ZIWISA.

“While some [children] might be lucky enough to be enrolled into primary school, it’s difficult to get placed in high schools,” she says.

The matric certificates of immigrant children are missing the 13-digit SA ID number on them, and their validity is often doubted.

“In Johannesburg there are a number of private schools offering the University of Cambridge high school system to allow migrant children to have usable certificates, but such schools are expensive,” says Musonza.

Cambridge system matric certificates do not require SA ID numbers and the system is generally better favoured by many immigrants.

ZIWISA, in partnership with Bishop Paul Verryn of the Methodist Church in Johannesburg, is fundraising for a school for immigrant children.

Verryn says, “The project will cater for all children including those who are undocumented.” He says the school will have to charge a small fee.

“We will also offer the University of Cambridge syllabus to cater for migrant children with no ID numbers or birth certificates. All children have the right to attend school.”

“The Albert school which was operating on the premises of the Methodist Church catered for only Zimbabweans who were struggling with school placement, but has now officially been closed. Should a new school be opened, a difference will be made in the lives of needy children ,” said Verry

Reference


Scabies Outbreak in Swaziland while Mswati expropriates more wealth for his family

20 January 2023

In the confusion of the emergence of a probable new variant of the coronavirus, people in Swaziland seem to be scratching their skin off. Health workers in Swaziland are pointing to a scabies outbreak in the country that is going on without any intervention.

Swaziland is in the midst of political unrest as the people continue to demand the democratisation of the country. The regime is spending more public funds on strengthening itself against the masses who continue to call for democracy. The regime’s security forces are spread all over the country, invading communities. Consequently, diseases such as scabies are on the rise, all without medical intervention. The public health system in Swaziland has also virtually collapsed as the regime prioritises its own survival than that of the people.

Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the mite scacoptes scabiei. Classic scabies typically manifests as intensely itchy spots. The sides and webs of the face, fingers, wrists, armpits, area around the nipples and genitals are often affected.

Scabies can cause a serious mental health problem and affect the quality of life in constant scratching. With that being the case, it then qualifies scabies to be used as a biological weapon in case of war.

Apart from mental health being affected, the constant itching and scratching affects one's productivity as it grows more and more severe at night and people lose their sleep, and in the long run this is likely to lead to depression. Nurses have also been affected by the outbreak since they work closely with patients.

In addition to the fact that treatment for scabies is currently out of stock and there are few experts in diagnosis and treatment of the disease, there has not been any research and training of clinicians about scabies. There have not even been any counter measures like outreaches and home visits. Instead, professionals are wrongly deployed as the regime does not want to pay them for their skill.

It appears that the crippled health system in the country is being used against the poor Swazis to eliminate as much personnel as possible in protection of the crown.

Given the status that the tinkhundla system is crippled, any measure is possible for them to take in order to preserve the monarchy. Over and above that, due to its inherent nature of prioritising the royal family over the people, the regime is unable to provide basic services to the people, including healthcare. The Communist Party of Swaziland continues to mobilise the people of our country to intensify the heat against the absolute monarchy for democracy now.

Contacts:
Thokozane Kenneth Kunene


Netanyahu, US Security Advisor Discuss Israel-Saudi Arabia Normalization

20 January 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Thursday with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and discussed plans to promote normalization with Saudi Arabia, The Middle East Monitor reported.

A statement issued by Netanyahu’s office said the two sides have also discussed joint efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s activities in the region.

“I have known President Biden for 40 years as a great friend of Israel, and I know how much he trusts you on matters of national security,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the meeting.

The two sides have reiterated the importance of the strategic relations between Tel Aviv and Washington and the need to deepen them, as well as future efforts to deepen the Abraham Accords and expand the “circle of peace,” according to the same source.

However, following far-right Israeli Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s storming of Al-Aqsa on January 3, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted an Israeli official as saying that “there is no opportunity to develop relations with Saudi Arabia as long as Ben-Gvir and (Bezalel) Smotrich are in the government coalition.”

In 2020, several Arab countries signed a normalization deal with Israel.

The agreement is considered a severe blow to Palestinian efforts aimed at isolating Israel regionally and internationally until it ends its military occupation and apartheid-like system in occupied Palestine.

Reference


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