Swaziland’s King Mswati III has changed the name of Swaziland to eSwatini, BBC reports.
The monarch made the announcement at the dual celebration to mark his 50th birthday and the country’s 50 years of independence.
The kingdom of Swaziland will now be reffered to as Eswatini is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies where the king rules by decree over his subjects and in recent years demonstrators have called for a shift to democracy.
While the official name change was unexpected, King Mswati III has been referring for years to Swaziland as the Kingdom of eSwatini.
This was the name the king used when he addressed the UN general assembly in 2017 and at the state opening of the country’s parliament in 2014.