Hundreds march in Swaziland pro-democracy protest

AP News
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Posted: Sep 05, 2011 10:26 AM
Hundreds march in Swaziland pro-democracy protest

Hundreds of anti-government protesters marched through the capital of Swaziland demanding democracy.

Some demonstrators on Monday burned cloth printed with the image of King Mswati III.

Schools and businesses remained open in a slow start to a "week of action" that called for nationwide strikes against sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy.

The government failed in efforts to have a court declare the strike illegal.

Protesters chanted against freezes of government salaries and cuts to student allowances.

Swaziland is in a financial crisis fueled by corruption and declining customs revenue that has led to widespread shortages of medication.

South Africa last month agreed to give Swaziland a 2.4 billion rand ($354 million) loan contingent on reform.