Swaziland

The Kingdom of Swaziland is a country located in Southern Africa. It is relatively small in area, similar in size to Kuwait. Swaziland is a landlocked country, bordered by [[South Africa]] on three sides except to the east, where it borders [[Mozambique]]. The country, inhabited primarily by Bantu-speaking Swazi people, is named after the 19th century king Mswati II, from whom the people also take their name.

The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Swaziland is the highest in the world at 38.8%, and is much higher than that of sub-Saharan Africa overall (7.5%) and globally (1.1%).

King Sobhuza II, who died in 1982, was one of the longest reigning monarchs of all time.

Artifacts indicating human activity dating back to the early Stone Age 200,000 years ago have been found in the kingdom of Swaziland. Prehistoric rock art paintings date from ca. 25,000 B.C. and continue up to the 19th century.

The earliest inhabitants of the area were Khoisan hunter-gatherers. They were largely replaced by the Bantu tribes during Bantu migrations. Evidence of agriculture and iron use dates from about the 4th century, and people speaking languages ancestral to current Sotho and Nguni languages began settling no later than the 11th century.

The ruling Dlamini lineage had chiefships in the region in the 18th century. An enlarged Swazi (occasionally also written as Suozi) kingdom was established by King Sobhuza I in the early 19th century. Soon thereafter the first whites started to settle in the area. In the 1890s the South African Republic in the Transvaal claimed sovereignty over Swaziland but never fully established power. After the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, Swaziland became a British protectorate. The country was granted independence within the Commonwealth of Nations on 6 September 1968. Since then, Swaziland has seen a struggle between pro-democracy activists and the monarchy.

Swaziland has been under a State of Emergency since 1973.