Manzini, 02 July, 2021 / 7:50 pm (ACI Africa).
The Bishop of Eswatini’s lone Catholic Diocese is calling for calm in the Southern African nation amid pro-democracy protests.
In his Friday, July 2 statement shared with ACI Africa, Bishop José Luis Ponce de León cautions the people of God in Eswatini against responding to the violence with revenge and calls for dialogue to address the crisis that started late last month.
“As I have stated in the past, fighting fire with fire will bring our country to ashes. The Catholic Church calls once again for calm and dialogue,” Bishop Ponce de León says, adding that an “all-inclusive and open dialogue without excluding any stakeholder is the only possible way forward.”
Protests in the Southern African nation that changed its name from Swaziland to the Kingdom of Eswatini in 2018 were triggered by the death of Thabani Nkomonye, a 25-year-old University of Eswatini Student, allegedly at the hands of police in May.
The demonstrators shifted their focus from “Justice for Thabani” to calling for reforms to the country’s system of absolute monarchy.