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Swaziland king renames country 'eSwatini'

King Mswati III, Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland
King Mswati III, Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland. Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

King Mswati III of Swaziland marked the country’s 50th anniversary of independence last week by declaring the country would now be known the "Kingdom of eSwatini," per BBC News.

The backstory: This unexpected move in Africa's last absolute monarchy was done to avoid confusion with Switzerland, Mswati said. The BBC reports that the king used the name previously when addressing the UN general assembly last year, and during an address in 2014. The name change was reportedly met with scrutiny amid concerns the king should prioritize the country's struggling economy.