‘Soldiers are servants of the people’

‘Soldiers are servants of the people’

MASERU – SOLDIERS are servants and not masters of the people, a senior military commander has told troops in a country rife with coups and military intervention in politics.
Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) deputy commander Major General Matela Matobakele reminded soldiers of their subservient role to civilians at the official opening ceremony of civic education training programme at Makoanyane barracks on Monday.

The training is part of efforts to professionalise the army and deepen soldiers’ understanding of their duties in a democratic society.
Maj Gen Matobakele told 70 non-commissioned officers who attended the event that through “good leadership”, soldiers should show that they are working for the good of all citizens.
Civic education was one way of reminding soldiers to always seek to set a good example as they execute their tasks as expected by society.
Participants of the civic education programme should also use their skills to create harmony between commissioned and non-commission officers, said Maj. Gen Matobakele.
“You are the link between officers and soldiers, and do not forget that the link is very important,” he said

Colonel Mots’oene on behalf of the SADC commander in Lesotho, Brigadier Sabino Dunyuiouga, commended the LDF leadership for making the programme possible.
SADC officials were part of those who conducted the civic education training.

Colonel Mots’oene said the training involved the study of the rights and duties of citizens as well as government functions. Ethics, responsibility and accountability were part of the training content, he said.

Col Mots’oene said the training equips soldiers with skills to engage with society more positively, particularly with regards to respect of diversity and freedom of association.
Following charges that the Lesotho army was at the centre of the country’s political instability and the stifling of the rights of citizens, LDF commander Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela has pledged to professionalise the army and subject it to the will of the people.

The British government has in the recent past helped train the local army, police and security agents on conflict management.

Nkheli Liphoto

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