Swaziland king renames country ‘the Kingdom of eSwatini’

The king of Swaziland, one of the world’s few absolute monarchs, announced on Thursday that his country had changed its name to eSwatini to mark 50 years since independence from British rule.

Meaning “place of the Swazi”, eSwatini is the Swazi language name for the tiny nation landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique.

Unlike some countries, Swaziland did not change its name when it gained independence in 1968 after being a British protectorate for more than 60 years.

King Mswati III has declared a name change at events celebrating independence and his 50th birthday, at a packed sports stadium in the second city of Manzini.

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