Skip to content or view screen version

Starving Swaziland faces US sanctions

Swaziland Solidarity Campaign | 02.07.2002 09:06

The latest edition of Simunye Update calls on the US to consider targetted sanctions against the Mswati regime as the ambassador to Swaziland floats the idea of breaking off the country's trading privileges under AGOA

The latest edition of SIMUNYE UPDATE, the fortnightly
Swaziland news bulletin, is now available.

To view it in full in pdf format, go to:

To view it in text format, go to:

Simunye Update is produced by the UK-based SWAZILAND
SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN (SSC). To read more about the campaign,
visit the SSC's website - - or join the Swaziland
Solidarity E-list -

The SSC is requesting articles on AIDS, agriculture,
economy, gender, politics, poverty relief and cultural
issues for the August edition of its bi-monthly magazine,
SIMUNYE. Contact for more information.

The June edition can be dowloaded from:

Swaziland Solidarity Campaign
- e-mail:
- Homepage:


Hide the following 7 comments

Just blame us

02.07.2002 10:18

..But famine is due to Global Warming, is it not? It's all OUR fault that Africa is starving.. we naughty consumers of all Africa's natural resources!

It's got nothing to do with the World Bank using food (or lack of it) war and disease as a weapon for genocide in the 'Developing World' - so that Corporations can reposses the mineral-rich land.

We have the technology to make the desert bloom and feed every man and his dog on this planet, but we spend $billions probing Mars instead.

What's the Third World 'developing' into by the way? A graveyard?

Scape goat

Roots of hunger

02.07.2002 12:36

According to our calculations, Swaziland is fertile enough to produce a surplus of its main staple grain, maize, on current maize-growing land even during the present drought. The principal problem is the lack of access to capital inputs to boost yields. This is related to the rising cost of inputs relating to currency depreciation and the removal of subsidies for hibrid seeds, a policy carried out under the auspices of donor organisations such as the World Bank and the IMF.

Semi-subsistent farmers are also suffering because they are finding it hard to sell cash crops, such as sugar, on highly protected Western markets. If they were allowed to trade fairly with the West, they could use their profits to reinvest in food production.

Another issue is land distribution and tenure. King Mswati owns 60 per cent of the land and the rest is owned under a tenure system organised by the chiefs. Few small farmers own their land and many have to spend vast sums in tribute. There needs to be a system of land tenure that benefits the poor and this requires the complete dismantling of the kingdom's feudal structures. Land reform has to go hand in hand with a democratic revolution in Swaziland.

Swaziland Solidarity Campaign
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

World Bank Serves U.S. Interests

02.07.2002 15:28

Bretton Woods Institutions(IMF/World Bank) are U.S. based financial entities that are designed to manipulate the global economy at the behest of mainly U.S. based corporate interests by imposing Structural Adjustment Programmes, among other things, to force other governments to capitulate with their corporations. It is the U.S. and its interests that should be sanctioned as they are the prime cause of the lion's share of human rights abuses worldwide. That's why we should all boycott/embargo U.S. multinational corporations and other interests!

E-mail the U.N. Human Rights Commission demanding a full investigation of Bretton Woods(IMF/World Bank) :!


To the point

02.07.2002 15:40

"Mbombo": AIDS is not a joke when a third of the population of Swaziland stands to die of it in the next five years.

STOP NYC: What is your exact point? Surely it would benefit US corporations to have the Swazi authorities subsidise hybrid grain imports and fertiliser. In this case, the Bretton Woods institutions have worked against US interests. How will boycotting US-manufactured goods help Swaziland?

Swaziland Solidarity Campaign
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

World Bank Going Against its Sponsors?

02.07.2002 16:43

First, "Mbombo" is most likely a white supremacist spammer-ignore him.

Second-the World Bank going against its corporate sponsores? I was responding to the post by "Scape-Goat", who seems to think that the interests of the World Bank are somehow seperate from the U.S.-hardly! This is something we'll all have to look at-maybe there is some other U.S. corporate interest that stands to benefit from the stoppage of grain/fertilizer import subsidies-US corporate culture is very Darwinistic and this could be a sign of "infighting" between the corporate fertilizer and grain exporters, and companies that stand to benefit if there was no subsidy of their "rivals".

The linked article displayed yet another example of the hypocricy of the U.S.- decrying this latest mandate from the Swaziland government, when it's a good bet its CIA helped install this regime like it had with so many others around the world. It would be comical if not for the tragic results of women being abused by the army and other human rights abuses being caused by U.S. interference like this against other nations, and then seeing the Yanks turn around and point at the regimes it helped install for the benefit of its corporate interests and acuse them of violating human rights!


One More Thing-

02.07.2002 16:53

...On the boycott, it's not where the products are manufactured but where the PROFITS go. What's happening in Swaziland(and the rest of the world) is(mostly)U.S. based corporations (like McDonalds or AT&T) operating there are removing profits from your country's economy and enriching themselves(shareholders in US) while leaving Swaziland impoverished because their Bretton Woods Institutions(IMF/World bank), and the World Trade Organization like to keep "changing the rules" with Structural Adjustment Programmes and other tactics designed to benefit their corporate benefactors, NOT Swaziland(or any other country they infest).

We need to stop feeding these Yankee bloodsuckers! Keep your money in Swaziland, don't give it to the Yanks!


Interesting points

03.07.2002 08:56

Those are interesting points, STOP NYC. The US is not the only country responsible for preventing Swazi farmers from selling important cash crops on world markets. Sugar, which Swaziland produces more efficiently than western sugar beat farmers, is effectively denied access to North American and European markets due to heavy subsidies for their farmers and high tariff barriers. So the West is unwilling to follow the free market dogma it is imposing on Swaziland and the rest of Africa - so why should anyone in the developing world take any notice of the policy prescriptions of the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO? The only reason is that these institutions dispense money, so that they can buy off governments like Swaziland despite any objections the local population may have.

Regarding how the Swazi government was installed, the chieftencies and monarchy have been around since before the British empire. However, the country has been an absolutist monarchy since 1973 when King Sobhuza II decreed an end to democracy and banned political parties. He was advised by the apartheid regime in South Africa. King Mswati III has continued his father's style of leadership, issuing decrees to eradicate labour organisations who might object to the appalling sweat shop conditions Swazi workers endure in the garment factories that supply US markets.

Swaziland Solidarity Campaign
mail e-mail:
- Homepage: