The Commission of Inquiry into Lesotho’s security situation should continue its work as soon as possible, under the terms of references that have been agreed upon, South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.


In his capacity as facilitator to Lesotho, appointed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Ramaphosa was speaking after returning from the SADC Double Troika meeting held in Botswana on Sunday.
Ramaphosa welcomed the decision by the meeting to reaffirm the current terms of reference for the SADC Commission of Inquiry into Lesotho.

The terms of reference were agreed upon during the Double Troika Summit held in Pretoria on July 3, 2015.
During Ramaphosa’s visit to Lesotho on July 30 and in his interaction with Lesotho Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili as well as members of the opposition political parties, proposals were presented to Ramaphosa for the SADC to consider amending the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry.

In its deliberations in Botswana on Sunday, the SADC Double Troika decided that the SADC terms of reference as agreed upon on July 3 in Pretoria should stand, said Ramaphosa.

In this context, the Troika was of the view that the current SADC terms of reference in their original form are broad enough to accommodate proposals raised with the facilitator by the Lesotho government and members of the opposition political parties, said Ramaphosa.

“The Lesotho government is thus expected to gazette the SADC terms of reference to enable the SADC Commission of inquiry to continue with its work as soon as possible.

“As the SADC Facilitation mission, we look forward to the SADC Commission of Inquiry beginning its work in earnest within the framework of the terms of reference as set out by the Double Troika Summit,” said Ramaphosa.
He reiterated the call for the Lesotho government to give the commission their unreserved support as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to their security challenges.

The terms of references call for constitutional and security reforms following the death of Lesotho’s former army chief Maaparankoe Mahao who was shod dead in late June after being sacked by Prime Minister Mosisili. His death plunged the country into uncertainty.

The SADC has been pushing all stakeholders in the kingdom, including the government to urgently undertake constitutional and security sector reforms.

Lesotho was forced into an early election in late February following an attempted coup in August last year. Mosisili emerged as the winner in the elections. He fired Mahao after taking office and re-appointed Tlali Kamoli as army chief.

Kamoli had been fired by former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and was behind the attempted coup that forced the country into early elections.

Soon after Kamoli’s re-appointment, several soldiers, including body guards of Thabane, were arrested and tortured on allegations that they were conniving with Mahao and former police commissioner Khothatso Tsooana to overthrow the government.

Soon afterwards, Thabane and Basotho National Party leader Thesele Maseribane fled the country, claiming they were tipped about plots to kill them. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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