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USA govt changes its stance against SD

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By ARTHUR MORDAUNT - SWAZI TIMES-22-Sep-2009

LOBAMBA – The American Government has changed its stance on Swaziland regarding assistance to the kingdom.

This follows the local government’s act of putting in place the law prohibiting the smuggling and trafficking of people in the country. The United States of America had initially given Swaziland about 90 days to put this law in place, failing which the country stood to lose over E200 million in aid from the superpower.

About two months ago, Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini tabled the required bill in Parliament with a certificate of urgency, and also informed the legislators that they needed to pass the law as a matter of urgency due to the precarious situation the country found itself in.

Yesterday, Dlamini informed members of his office’s portfolio committee in the House of Assembly that following the enactment of the law, Swaziland had been removed from the danger zone by the USA.

Giving a background to the law, Dlamini said the country signed an agreement in its capacity as a member of the United Nations that it will enact the law. However, there were delays that resulted in Swaziland not putting the law in place, despite several reminders from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO). He said it appeared government believed that the problem did not exist in the kingdom.

As a result of government’s snail’s pace, the USA decided to ‘encourage’ the country to speed up things. He said the US grouped the countries into three categories. There was the First Tier, which comprised countries that had responded to the call immediately. It was followed by the Second Tier, which had countries that were in the process of enacting the law, but were delaying due to various reasons.


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