SADC intensifies mediation to resolve political conflict in Lesotho

CAPE TOWN – South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator, left for Maseru, Lesotho on Friday to mediate the political conflict in the kingdom.

The working visit by Ramaphosa is to pursue his SADC mandate to consolidate peace and stability in the kingdom, his office said in a statement.

Ramaphosa will review progress made with regard to the implementation of SADC recommendations on constitutional and security sector reforms including the investigation into the death of the late Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao, said Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesperson of Ramaphosa.

The visit came amid mounting concern over the deteriorating situation in Lesotho following the flight of three opposition leaders to South Africa and the killing of Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF).

Lesotho was forced into an early election in early 2015 following an attempted coup in August the previous year. Pakalitha Mosisili emerged as the winner in the elections. He fired Mahao after taking office. Mahao was killed in June 2015. His death plunged the country into uncertainty.

Ramaphosa has conducted a series of missions which contributed to the reopening of parliament, the holding of democratic elections and the inauguration of a democratic government in Lesotho.

During his latest one-day visit, Ramaphosa will be supported by several members of the SADC-appointed Oversight Committee.

Ramaphosa will pay a courtesy call on His Majesty King Letsie III and hold discussions with Prime Minister Mosisili and members of his coalition government.

As is customary, the Deputy President will also have an occasion to meet with leaders of all opposition political parties, college of Chiefs, Council of Lesotho Churches, and members of the Mahao family to be briefed on their assessment of the current political and security situation in the country, according to Mamoepa,

The SADC has committed to providing experts in the various fields to assist the kingdom in developing a long lasting solution to the constitutional and security sector reform.

Ramaphosa is expected to return to South Africa later in the day ahead of his planned meeting with exiled Lesotho political leaders on Saturday.

Source: Angola Press News Agency