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Latest update : 2010-10-21

Swaziland, an absolute monarchy in Africa

In Swaziland, King Mswati III not only chooses his prime minister and government but also has the pick of the nation when it comes to finding a bride. This country located in south-eastern Africa was built on tradition and culture, and currently there is no place for democracy. However groups fighting for freedom are gaining momentum, but their work is slow and dangerous.

Every year, King Mswati III of Swaziland brings together all the virgins from his kingdom. During the vibrant and elaborate ceremony, the monarch can at any time chose a new wife from among the participants.

Behind the picture perfect traditional African image, Swaziland is a monarchy to be reckoned with. The king alone appoints the prime minister, and rules by decree. Political parties are forbidden and human rights regularly violated. FRANCE 24 went behind the scenes to meet the opposition.

By Eva Gilliam , Caroline DUMAY

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