As Britain counts down the days to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, there comes a reminder from the tiny kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa of how not to be a monarch. On Tuesday, Swazi King Mswati III, the last absolute sovereign in Africa, unleashed his security forces on pro-democracy demonstrators. Police fired tear gas and water cannon into a small crowd gathered in Manzini, Swaziland’s largest town, and beat anyone suspected of trying to take part in the protest. Other officers detained activists across the country and turned back those heading to the rally at roadblocks around Manzini. Police spokeswoman, Wendy Hleta, told the Associated Press officials were facing an attempt to overthrow the government. “The situation almost got out of control,” said Hleta. The police “were compelled to shoot tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd.” The protest was called for the 38th anniversary of the day, April 12, when Mswati’s father, King Sobhuza II, declared emergency rule and banned political parties.
- Falling off the Edge: Globalization, World Peace and Other Lies by Alex Perry
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