SADC extends standby force’s tenure

SADC extends standby force’s tenure

MASERU – THE SADC Double Troika Summit has approved the extension of the bloc’s standby force’s term in Lesotho by a further six months, ending in November this year. The decision comes after Prime Minister Thomas Thabane made the request at a one-day summit held in Luanda, Angola, on Tuesday. The regional bloc deployed troops from South Africa, Angola and Mozambique to Lesotho to avert another bout of instability prompted by the murder of Lesotho Defence Force commander, Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo in September last year.

According to a communiqué released after the summit, countries that released their soldiers to Lesotho were commended for a good deed. SADC has sent 258 soldiers, police and intelligence officers to help stabilize Lesotho after a serious bout of political instability. The SADC Double Troika has also received reports on the implementation of the SADC resolutions in the Kingdom. It has commended Lesotho and all stakeholders for the notable efforts in implementing the SADC resolutions.

The Summit also endorsed the Roadmap for Reforms and National Dialogue, and urged the government of Lesotho to prioritise the Constitutional and Security Sector reforms. The reforms have to be completed by May 2019, and a progress report is to be presented to Summit in August 2018. The SADC Communiqué called upon all political parties and stakeholders in Lesotho to accord the needed seriousness to the national dialogue and the reforms processes and find lasting solutions to the political and security challenges facing the Kingdom.

The summit also congratulated Cyril Ramaphosa on his election as President of South Africa, and approved the appointment by the facilitator of a high profile personality to support him as the new facilitator to Lesotho on a continuous basis. It also commended the Oversight Committee for undertaking their mandate with diligence, and urged Lesotho to urgently implement the recommendations of the Expanded Oversight Committee.

Majara Molupe

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