Lesotho to receive security support

by Benice BurgerSeptember 18, 2017

The SADC Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government has approved the deployment of a contingent force comprising of military, security, intelligence and civilian personnel who are expected to support the government of Lesotho.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government was held in Pretoria on Friday to discuss the political and security issues of Lesotho. The summit was chaired by President Jacob Zuma as the Chairperson of regional bloc.

“In the interim, the summit approved an expanded mandate and composition of a total of 34 members of the oversight committee to include military, security, intelligence and civilians and experts to be deployed to Lesotho for a period of a month,” SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said.

She said the summit directed the Chiefs of Defence and Security to assess the requirements and determine the appropriate size of the contingent force and to prepare the modalities for the deployment.

Dr Tax was addressing delegates at the summit convened after the recent political and security developments in Lesotho. Among other things, the Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force Lieutenant General Khoantle Motsomotso was assassinated on 5 September reportedly by army officers in his military headquarters.

“[The] summit strongly condemned the brutal assassination of Lieutenant General Motsomotso and expressed condolences to the family of the late commander, government and the people of the Kingdom of Lesotho,” she said.

The summit urged the Kingdom to expedite investigations into the assassinations of Lieutenant General Motsomotso as well as former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao, who was killed in June 2015.

President Zuma expressed concern at the killing of Lieutenant General Motsomotso, saying that it sets a dangerous pattern.

“The tragic death of Lieutenant General Motsomotso should not be allowed to pass by unnoticed by our regional organisation, especially because it happens two years after the killing of [Brigadier Mahao],” President Zuma said, as the Chairperson of SADC.

“The prevailing situation in this sister country should not be allowed to continue forever as if it is business as usual. There is a need for decisive action by the region,” President Zuma said

At the time of his death, Lieutenant General Motsomotso dedicated his talent, time and energy towards contributing to a stable, peaceful and prosperous Lesotho by starting to implement the recommendations of the SADC Commission of Inquiry.

President Zuma called on all Basotho, led by the government and teaming up with all national stakeholders, to work together for peace, security and stability in the Kingdom.

“As a region, we are committed to assist the Government and people of Lesotho to implement all SADC decisions including the required constitutional, security sector, parliamentary, public sector and judicial reforms.

“We believe that the Kingdom can only achieve lasting and sustainable stability once these reforms are implemented,” he said. The reforms have to be owned and led by the Basotho, with SADC providing technical assistance and advice.

He urged the Government and people of Lesotho to work towards finalising all the required reforms within a period of 18 months consistent with the extended tenure of the SADC Oversight Committee.

Source: http://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/lesotho-receive-security-support

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Benice Burger