Ethiopia Recent History

Swaziland History

Eswatini, Umbuso weSwatini, English Kingdom of Eswatini, German Kingdom Eswatini, until 2018 Swaziland. Landlocked country in Southeast Africa, with 17 360 km 2 after Gambia the second smallest country on the African mainland with (2019) 1.15 million residents; The capital is Mbabane.

Country Overview

Eswatini is enclosed in the north, west and south by the Republic of South Africa and in the east by Mozambique.

The mountainous zone in the west of the country (in Emlembe 1,862 m above sea level) is part of the great marginal stage of the South African inland highlands (Hochveld). This well-watered, rivers-traversed, and thanks to afforestation, densely forested mountainous region is the most economically important region of the country. Iron ore and (in Bulembu; 1939–2001) asbestos were mined here until the end of the 1970s (in Ngwenya; proven as early as 4100 BC). To the east there is a fertile hill country (Middleveld), which in turn merges to the east into the flat, equally fertile Lowveld (200-300 m above sea level). The natural border with Mozambique in the east is formed by the Lebombo Mountains, a basaltic one, the Drakensberg Mountains, over 150 kmSouth Africa’s geologically related mountain range (around 600 m above sea level), which extends from northern Zululand 600 km north (to Limpopo). The main river is the Lusutfu with its tributaries, which flows into the Pongola on the other side of the eastern border; its valley is the main settlement area of ​​the Swazi.


The Swasi came to the area of ​​today’s Eswatini (until 2018 Swaziland) as part of the Nguni migration around 1750. Important kings ( Sobhuza I, * around 1780, † 1839; Mswati II, * around 1820, † 1868) formed the Swazi state people from the Swazi upper class, long-established Sotho and other immigrant Nguni groups. The first Boers came to the country in 1868; In 1894 the Boer Republic took over the Transvaalthe administration of Eswatini, which came under British sovereignty after the Boer War in 1902 (since 1907 with its own protectorate administration), but remained outside the South African Union founded in 1910. In 1967 it was granted autonomy, and on September 6, 1968, Great Britain granted Swaziland independence as a monarchy within the Commonwealth. However, Swaziland remained under the strong influence of the Republic of South Africa (including the 1982 secret security agreement).

King Sobhuza II (* 1899, † 1982), who ascended the throne in 1921, remained head of state, repealed the democratic constitution in 1973 and banned all parties. In 1978 a new constitution came into force, which only gave the bicameral parliament advisory rights. After the death of Sobhuza II, the country was initially under the reign of his wife Dzeliwe, who was replaced in 1983 by Ntombi, another wife of Sobhuza II. Their son, Prince Makhosetive, was born on April 25, 1986 as Mswati III.crowned king.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, there have been repeated protests and strikes by the illegal but fragmented opposition and democracy movement against absolutist rule and for political liberalization, which have been suppressed by the police and the military. In September 2008, elections were held on the basis of the constitution that came into force in 2006, without any change in the character of the authoritarian regime. In 2011 the country fell into a severe financial crisis, which led to protests by public employees affected by cuts in salaries and jobs. The security forces used force against demonstrators. There were several fatalities. According to prozipcodes, elections to the House of Representatives were held again on September 20, 2013. The opposition had called for a boycott of the polls. Due to the unsatisfactory human rights situation in Swaziland, the USA terminated an important trade agreement in 2014. As a result, the economic situation deteriorated rapidly in 2015/16. In 2016 there were strikes by farm workers and student protests.

Ethiopia Recent History