Troubled times on the Southeastern tip of the continent…

A quick round-up of recent news coming from Southern and Southeastern Africa, which outline a picture of growing instabilty (although for the time being unlikely to cause anyting remotely comparable to the Mfecane).

Swaziland
The Kingdom celebrates today its 42nd anniversary of independence, on the verge of the of the Global Week of Action called for by the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) to protest for the human rights situation. Actions were scheduled to begin tomorrow, and today over 50 activists were arrested. According to reports, all but one of them have now been released, but South African and other foreigners have been deported. The only activist that remains in custody is Sikhumbuzo Phakathi, Deputy President of PUDEMO, who

“was not allowed to cross over into South Africa but was held up by the police under intense interrogation.”

You can follow all the latest info through the Swaziland Solidarity Forum.

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Barricades of burning tyres in Maputo on September 1 after police opened fire on stone-throwing crowds. (Photo: AP)

Mozambique
In neigbouring Mozambique, riots over food prices erupted last week Wednesday. The two days of riots on the capital, Maputo, left seven people dead and hundreds injured. On the wake of the violence, police has been deployed on the streets to prevent more looting and protests. The riots have also showcased the potential of new media in both organising and reporting the incidents, and the potentially devastating consequences that global warming could have on food supply accross the world. To discuss this, the UN has called for crisis talks, to prevent a repeat of the 2008 food shortages which affected a number of countries (a scenario, which, we have written before, could be likely to be repeated).

Zimbabwe
And in nearby Zimbabwe, President Mugabe is on the headlines again. Here, Blessing-Miles Tendi wonders about the state of his health. And here The Guardian reports on the new video by South African music group Freshlygroung in which, using latex puppets, they criticise the inability of once-hero Mugabe, to leave power.
This is the video, enjoy!

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