SAPMIL won’t stay as Lesotho pressured on reforms
In Lesotho, the Southern African Development Community’s peacekeeping forces will leave in November as planned despite the appeals from Prime Minister Tom Thabane for a three-month extension.
The SAPMIL force has served a year in Lesotho, which includes a previous extension of an original mandate that ran through May. The primarily Angolan force was deployed to help maintain order following the September 2017 assassination of Lt. Gen. Khoantle Motšomotšothe, the former commander of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF).
Sources told the Lesotho Times that Thabane pressed SADC leaders for an extension during last weekend’s summit in Namibia, but heads of state in attendance said it was time for Lesotho to get serious about implementing its long-delayed reforms and the SAPMIL support ends in November.
“The summit resolved not to entertain any further delays in the implementation of Reforms and National Dialogue, and called upon SADC Member States to take necessary measures against those with intentions to delay, or threaten to derail the Reforms and the National dialogue processes,” the 16-member body said in its concluding communique.
The SADC also warned Lesotho not to again postpone the National Leaders Forum, which is meant to begin a roadmap process focused on four sectors: constitutional reform, security sector, public service and media.
The forum, which was last set for August 9, was held Thursday in Maseru.
Image: SADC file