SADC gives Lesotho new deadline

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has ordered the new Lesotho government to submit a clear time-bound roadmap on the implementation of all SADC decisions and those of the Commission of Inquiry by November 2017.

This was announced at the end of the 37th SADC summit, which ended in Tshwane on Sunday.

“The summit urged the government of Lesotho to develop and submit a roadmap on the implementation of all SADC decisions, with clear milestones and deliverables and report of progress at the next meeting of the Double Trioka Summit to be held before November 2017,” reads the communique.

The SADC reforms include the constitutional and security sector reforms process.

The Commission of Inquiry, led by Mpaphi Phumaphi, was set up to investigate the fatal shooting of former Lesotho Defence Force commander, Maaparankoe Mahao, in 2015.

The investigation of the commission, which was concluded in October 2015, recommended the dismissal of former army commander Tlali Kamoli and the suspension of LDF officers implicated in cases of murder, attempted murder and treason.

The SADC summit also approved the extension of the tenure of the oversight committee to continue acting as an early warning mechanism and to monitor and assist the kingdom of Lesotho.

According to the communique, the regional leaders have also reiterated the need to for a multi-stakeholder dialogue, bringing together all relevant stakeholders.

Lesotho's Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, was confident that they will meet the new deadline set up by SADC, especially when they address what he called serious outstanding issues.

He thanked SADC for helping his country return to normal and committed to ensuring stability in Lesotho.

President Jacob Zuma welcomed the commitment of the new government to implement SADC decisions.

Regional peace

The summit, attend by  which numerous SADC Heads of State and Government, including Namibian President Hage Geingob, Botswana’s Ian Khama, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu, and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, reviewed the political and security situation in the region.

With regards to the DRC, the summit noted that it might not be possible to hold elections in December 2017, due to a number of challenges currently receiving attention.

“The security challenges have made it unrealistic for the DRC to hold elections in December 2017,” the communique read.

The summit went on to urge the Independent National Electoral Commission of the DRC to publicise the revised electoral calendar.  

In addition to this, the regional leaders approved the appointment of a SADC Special Envoy to the DRC in the level of a Former Head of State.

There are consultations aimed at finalising this matter, which are led by President Zuma and King Mswati III.  

The summit called on the international community and all stakeholders to continue supporting and implementing the 2016 December agreement, and respecting the wishes of the people and ensure peace and stability in the DRC.

“The summit urges all stakeholders to refrain from actions that would undermine political and security stability with regards to the developments, which led to the escalation of violence and insecurity in the Kasia provinces,” the communique read.

Speaking through an interpreter, DRC’s new Prime Minister, Bruno Tshibala, welcomed the SADC decision, saying they have been encountering challenges with regards to the electoral process.

“We are happy that the SADC member countries have decided to continue to accompany us to recover our peace and stability and also to appoint a special envoy to monitor the political processes,” he said, adding that the country will come up with a realistic calendar for the elections. –

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