On 24 January 2018, the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), briefed the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) on its deployment of the SADC Preventive Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL). The briefing was done at the African Union Headquarters, old Conference Room, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In his briefing to the PSC on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, the Director of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Mr Jorge Cardoso, indicated that SADC deployed 258 personnel comprising of Military, Police, Intelligence and Civilian experts to help stabilize the Kingdom after the breakdown of rule of law in September 2017 following the assassination of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander, Lt Gen Khoantle Motšomotšo.
Mr Cardoso further briefed the meeting that the deployment was undertaken on the request of the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, and was in accordance with the United Nations Charter, Chapter VI, the African Union Peace and Security Protocol and the relevant provisions contained in the SADC Treaty, SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the SADC Standby Brigade of 2007.
The Director informed the meeting that the objective of the mission is to stablise the political and security situation in the kingdom of Lesotho and create a secure, stable and peaceful environment conducive for the rule of law necessary for the implementation of constitutional, Parliamentary Judicial, Public and Security Sector Reforms.
Mr Cardoso highlighted that, a total budget for SAPMIL is estimated at USD 4,761,295.00 for the initial six months’ period, and an amount of USD 3,174,997.00 is currently available from SADC internal resources. There is therefore a shortfall of USD 1,613,928.00 that the Region needs to urgently mobilise in order for the mission to fulfill its mandate which SADC is requesting for the AU and cooperating partners to contribute.
Apart from Financial assistance requested, SADC is also seeking technical support from the AU for the Contingent Force in order to bring tangible results and achieve lasting peace and security in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
The meeting was chaired by Republic of Egypt and attended by the fifteen Member States of PSC including the representatives of the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho.