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SADC CALL FOR A SPECIAL SUMMIT FOR LESOTHO PROGRESS REPORT
SADC CALL FOR A SPECIAL SUMMIT FOR LESOTHO PROGRESS REPORT
22 June 2016 | 14:45
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called for a special summit to discuss Lesotho’s seemingly endless instability.

The regional body had given Lesotho until Friday to submit a progress report about how it had implemented recommendations of a commission of inquiry established by SADC to probe the instability after the brazen murder of former Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander Maaparankoe Mahao on 25 June 2015.

Lesotho failed to meet Friday’s deadline but its Foreign Minister Tlohang Sekhamane said his government would strive to submit the report this week. The report is expected to form the basis of the special double troika summit to be convened in Botswana on 27 and 28 June.

A letter dated 13 June from SADC executive secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax to Sekhamane explained that the summit was being convened by SADC chairman and Botswana President Ian Khama to review the situation in Lesotho, about six months after Lesotho received the report of the regional body’s inquiry.

SADC will convene the summit amid escalating political tensions in Lesotho with an alliance of civic groups recently staging a well-attended protest march to demand implementation of the SADC recommendations. The civic alliance, including key trade unions, business, and church groupings, has threatened more protests if there is no progress in implementing the recommendations. The Lesotho government has pleaded for their patience, saying reforms cannot be implemented overnight.

African Union Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma recently weighed in with an uncharacteristically strongly worded statement condemning “the deteriorating state of human rights, rule of law, and constitutionalism in the Kingdom of Lesotho”.

This followed an attack on the house of arch government critic and vice-chancellor of the University of Lesotho Professor Mafa Sejanamane last month.


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