n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - The monarchy, land contests and conflict in post-colonial Swaziland

Volume 1, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


The African continent has experienced a number of conflicts after decolonisation and researchers have debated the causes of such conflicts. This article is based on a conflict that erupted in Swaziland in 2000 that led to serious socio-economic dislocations as people were evicted from land they had occupied for generations and were forced to migrate to different parts of the country. The article argues that the Swazi conflict is a typical example of a conflict over land contestation and control of such land. It shows that land can be contested as a resource for production and accumulation, and also for political control in agrarian economies such as that of Swaziland. The article places the Swazi monarchy at the centre of the conflict and argues that it was because of the desire of the Swazi king to accumulate land in the hands of the royal family and the control of regional chiefs and the population in their jurisdiction that the conflict erupted.

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