The brutal forced eviction of 61 people, including 33 children, from a farming area in Eswatini one year ago has left in its wake a host of distressed children and poverty-stricken families struggling to survive, Amnesty International said following speaking to the affected families 12 months after they were made homeless.
On 9 April 2018, Eswatini authorities deployed armed police and bulldozers to demolish four homesteads in the Emphetseni farming area in the Malkerns town. Everyone lost their homes following the demolitions. Many of those evicted have lost their livelihoods as well as access to the graves of their loved ones.
“The forced evictions in Malkerns have destroyed people’s futures, including children whose education has been interrupted,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“The affected families have been thrown into a cycle of poverty that they may never escape. They did not only lose their homes and livelihoods, but deep cultural connections with the land that they have known as their home for over six decades.”