Eswatini is the last absolute monarchy in Africa. For decades, the country has experienced corruption, violence against women, political demonstrations and limitations on political participation.1 The last two years have seen growing domestic pressure for democratic reforms. Pro-democracy movements have become increasingly active, with many cases of violent attacks on officials and security infrastructure, resulting in tension and armed confrontation between security forces and protesting civil servants.2
The country’s guiding gun control legislation includes the Arms and Ammunition Act of 1964.3 Eswatini’s main international relationships are with South Africa; the Southern African Customs Union (SACU); the Southern African Development Community (SADC); the United States; the European Union; and Taiwan.4 The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) has supported capacity building and training on small arms and light weapons issues.5
1 Bertelsmann Stiftung, BTI 2022 Country Report: Eswatini (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2022), https://bti-project.org/en/reports/country-report/SWZ.
2 “Tracking Conflict Worldwide: Eswatini,” International Crisis Group, 2022, https://www.crisisgroup.org/crisiswatch/database?location=150.
3 Philip Alpers, Michael Picard and Clara Mourlevat, Swaziland – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (GunPolicy.org, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022), https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/swaziland.
4 “Supporting a Meaningful National Dialogue in Eswatini,” Chatham House, March 25, 2022, https://www.chathamhouse.org/2022/03/supporting-meaningful-national-dialogue-eswatini.
5 Swaziland, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of Swaziland to the UN, 2018), https://unoda-poa.s3.amazonaws.com/reports/SWZ-English-813-SUBMITTED.pdf.
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Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in Eswatini.
Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021, https://smallarmssurvey.org/database/unplanned-explosions-munitions-sites-uems.
Cases of diversion
Insufficient information on cases of diversion in Eswatini.
Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Eswatini.
To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following needs have been identified for Eswatini:
- Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management, particularly financial and technical assistance; and
- Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles, in particular – financial and technical assistance.
Source: Swaziland, National PoA Report.