12:04 GMT05 August 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The acting prime minister of Eswatini, a small southern African kingdom formerly known as Swaziland, denied media reports on Tuesday that the king had fled violent anti-monarchy protests.

    "Following the false media reports circulating, I would like to take this opportunity to assure emaSwati and the international community that His Majesty King Mswati III is in the country and continues to lead in working with Government to advance the Kingdom's goals," Themba Masuku said in a statement.

    He appealed for calm and urged the kingdom's population of around a million to show restraint.

    The 53-year-old king reportedly escaped across the border to South Africa overnight after protesters unhappy with the country’s system of absolute monarchy and the royal court’s lavish lifestyle took to the streets to demand reforms.

    Tags:
    Kingdom of Eswatini, protest, protests
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