Basotho fear an attack at any time - police

2014-09-08 14:53
Lesotho's prime minister Tom Thabane. (File: AFP)

Lesotho's prime minister Tom Thabane. (File: AFP)

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Cape Town – Lesotho citizens are reportedly living in fear as tensions continue to simmer in the mountain nation following last week's attempted coup that forced Prime Minister Tom Thabane to flee to South Africa. He returned to the country last Friday.

The New Age quoted Lesotho's police, defence and national security minister Pitso Maisa as saying many feared "an attack at any time".

The situation in the country remains unstable, with Thabane saying the actions of army general Tlali Kamoli - who refuses to step down and has seized army weapons - made it impossible for him to reopen Parliament, according to an AFP report.

Kamoli is accused of masterminding last week's attempted coup.

Lesotho's army commander Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao said on Sunday that military action was now the only option against Kamoli and appealed to neighbouring states for assistance.

Mahao said efforts to negotiate with the renegade general after the coup bid had failed.

South African President Jacob Zuma will travel to Maseru on Tuesday to try rescue the deal agreed just a week ago, diplomatic sources in Lesotho and South Africa said.

And as political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says, Zuma's key challenge would be to disarm the renegade section of the army.

"... the key issue which they will put before him [Zuma] as a demand which will be a litmus test is the one of disarming the renegade section of the army," said Fikeni.

Fikeni said SADC was likely to intervene in the event that Kamoli refused to retrun the weapons and did not comply with the civilian control of army.

Watch the video below as Fikeni speaks to SABC.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  tlali kamoli  |  tom thabane  |  lesotho  |  sa  |  southern africa  |  coups

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