Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi says he is confident in South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s facilitation efforts in resolving challenges faced by Lesotho as Ramaphosa briefed him in Maputo recently on what has been achieved and what still needs to be done to amicably resolve issues in Lesotho. Nyusi says the meeting was another step forward and described the problems faced by the country as sensitive.
The meeting was attended by SADC’s Executive Secretary, Lawrence Tax, and the Prime Minister of Lesotho, Phakalitha Mosisili. The Maputo discussions take place on the same day as the start of the commission of inquiry into Former Lesotho Defence Force commander Maaparankoe Mahao’s death. However, the SADC is adamant that its efforts to consolidate peace and stability in Lesotho will yield positive results.
The crisis stemmed after Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane suspended parliament over fears of a coup d’état in 2014, allowing him to avoid a vote of confidence and was sanctioned by King Letsie III. In reaction, South Africa issued a statement that read it “notes with concern the unfolding political and security situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho which has resulted in the prorogation of the country’s parliament. The South African government has further noted with grave concern the unusual movements of the Lesotho Defence Force Units in the capital, Maseru. South Africa will not tolerate any unconstitutional change of government in the region and continent.” Lesotho’s deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing also suggested he would form a new government upon Thabane’s removal. Meanwhile, in addition to South Africa, the SADC also warned the political rivals of unconstitutional changes of government which would not be tolerated.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had continued with regional facilitation efforts to help the country return to political and security normalcy by helping create dialogue amongst Lesotho’s political role players to address the challenges facing the mountain kingdom since the outbreak of the political stalemate.
He has overseen the signing of the Maseru Facilitation Declaration among Lesotho’s main political players. The Maseru Facilitation Declaration provides for the reconvening of Lesotho’s Parliament by his Majesty King Letsie III, which took place on 17 October last year. In terms of the Declaration, the sitting of Parliament had to be limited to discussing the budget and all other related matters regarding the holding of elections. The Maseru Facilitation Declaration further provides that the National General Elections be held and on a date to be set by Lesotho’s King Letsie.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone,Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states. It complements the role of the African Union.