Ramaphosa meets exiled Lesotho opposition political leaders

2016-11-06 15:06
Cyril Ramaphosa (Netwerk24)

Cyril Ramaphosa (Netwerk24)

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Pretoria – Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has met with opposition leaders from Lesotho over the ongoing peace and stability efforts in that country.

In a statement, the presidency said that Ramaphosa briefed the opposition political leaders on deliberations and outcomes of the 36th Ordinary SADC Summit held in Mbabane, Swaziland in August 2016.

Among those who attended the meeting were former prime minister Tom Thabane, Theselle Maseribane leader of the Basotho National Party and Keketso Rantsho leader of the Reformed Congress of Lesotho.

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The trio was also joined by leaders of the opposition parties based in Lesotho.

"Deputy president highlighted the SADC Summit decisions on the constitutional and security sector reform processes, efforts to facilitate the return of exiled political leaders and the deployment of the Oversight Committee," the statement said.

It said that Ramaphosa would be visiting the mountainous Kingdom on a working visit to introduce members of the Oversight Committee to all relevant stakeholders in the country.

Lesotho plunged into a political crisis after the 2014 failed coup attempt by an army general.

The army commander, Tlali Kamoli, who mounted a brief coup against the Thabane appeared to have launched a campaign to get rid of his [Thabane's] loyalists, reports said.

Thabane fired Kamoli as Lesotho Defence Force commander following the failed coup.

Instability

But following Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's victory in the tightly contested elections in February 2015, Kamoli was reinstated.

Soon after Kamoli's reinstatement, a former army general  Maaparankoe Mahao who was close to Thabane was killed by the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) in his village home on the outskirts of Maseru. 

The troops were said to have been linked to Kamoli. This plunged the country into renewed political and security crisis. 

Thabane was then once again forced to flee the country, claiming he had been tipped off about a plot to kill him.

This resulted in the SADC to appoint a mediator.

In June 2016, Mosisili committed to a number of reforms, including constitutionalism, during a four-hour deliberation at the SADC summit in Gaborone, Botswana.

The SADC-appointed committee chaired by Ramaphosa was established to oversee the implementation of constitutional and security sector reforms in the country.

The SADC pledged to visit Lesotho periodically, provide expertise in key reform areas and to report on the country's progress in implementing these ideals. 

Ramaphosa was also tasked with overseeing the return of Lesotho opposition leaders.

 

Read more on:    sadc  |  pakalitha mosisili  |  cyril ­ramaphosa  |  tom thabane  |  south africa  |  lesotho  |  southern africa

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