Swaziland

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Kingdom of Swaziland

The Kingdom of Swaziland (Umbuso weSwatini) is a landlocked nation in Southern Africa, populated mostly by Bantu-speaking people whose ancestors migrated to the region in the 4th or 5th centuries CE. The nation is also called Ngwane in the local dialect. In 1881, the British government recognized the independence of the Swazi nation, but nevertheless negotiated mineral and land rights that placed administration of the region under South Africa. During the Boer Wars, Swaziland was often a refuge for Boer commando units and thus was indirectly involved in the war. Following South Africa's independence from Britain, Swaziland continued to be under administerial control of the UK until the 1960s, when the nation was encouraged to pursue self-governance. Following the ratification of its own constitution and the creation of a Legislative Council, elections were held in 1967 and official independence granted in 1968. The nation is presently an absolute monarchy, under King Mswati III.

Formed in 1979, the armed forces of this nation are known as the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force, and comprise approximately 2,500 active duty personnel. An elite security unit called the Royal Squadron provides ceremonial and protective details for the monarchy.

Camouflage of Swaziland

  • The Defence Force have worn variations of British DPM since the 1980s. An early version, seen below, was locally-made in a style similar to the British 1985 pattern uniform.

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  • Later versions of the pattern feature much brighter colors and more durable fabrics, being produced in Asia specifically for use by the Swaziland Defence Force.

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  • During the 1980s, the Royal Squadron (King's Bodyguard) were issued a brilliant-colored blue/purple DPM pattern camouflage uniform for ceremonial appearances. These uniforms were made in South Africa by the same factories that produced uniforms for the SADF. It is not known whether this unique camouflage pattern is still worn.

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