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Tension looming, Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala wants US to respect King’s order after shooting diplomats.

Thursday, 8th July, 2021

MBABANE: Eswatini Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala wants  diplomats of the United States(US) to comply with King Mswati’s order that they should not be on the streets after 6pm or face consequences.

This is contained in  electronic evidence sourced from Nokwane Army Headquarters where the Army Commander  was discussing with other security officers within the State security agency about the reports suggesting that diplomats from the US Embassy were shot by soldiers .

“If they continue moving around after 6:00pm breaking laws, we will regard them as suspects” ,said the Army Commander in a piece of classified evidence.

Efforts to reach the Army Commander for a comment proved unsuccessful at the time of compiling this report.

However, he previously told this Swaziland News that he does not discuss security issues with anyone outside the State security agency.

"I don’t talk about national security matters with anybody who doesn’t belong to the security forces, ask those who told you about it” ,said the Army Commander when responding to a question from the editor.

But it appeared in the evidence that the Army Commander was not remorseful for the alleged shooting and harassment of the diplomats but blamed them for failing to respect the curfew imposed by the Government.

On another note, the US Embassy released a statement confirming that on 01 July 2021, shots were fired at an Embassy vehicle, the matter is now a subject of engagements between the US Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“We can confirm that shots were fired at an embassy vehicle on July 1, and that we informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the incident via a diplomatic note—a standard form of communication between all diplomatic missions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The embassy is working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address the incident", said the US embassy in a statement. 

It has been reported that  after the shooting of the diplomats' car and in the midst of the ongoing political crisis in eSwatini, the US decided to strengten security within its Embassy at Ezulwini.

Eswatini is in the midst of a political crisis that erupted after King Mswati issued a decree banning the delivery of petitions in demand for democratic reforms, dozens have been killed after the King unleashed soldiers on civilians.

Tension looming, Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala wants US to respect King’s order after shooting diplomats.