May 7, 2019

Swaziland, home to 1.3 million people, is Africa’s last absolute monarchy. The small country in southern Africa has been ruled by King Mswati III since 1986. A majority of the population in Swaziland live in poverty in rural areas.

In 2006, the ruling family introduced a new constitution that included a bill of rights. But human rights activists say the monarchy has continued to restrict freedom of expression, assembly and association.

In 2018, Mswati announced that he was renaming the country “the Kingdom of eSwatini,” meaning “the land of Swazis,” though the name change has not been embraced by most of the rest of the world. The announcement was made on the country’s 50th anniversary of independence from British rule.