The SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax undertook a one-day follow- up mission on the 26 February 2018 in the Kingdom of Lesotho. The Executive Secretary was joined by Permanent Secretaries and Defence and Security Chiefs from SADC Double Troika Member States and Troop/Personnel Contributing Countries (TCCs/PCCs) to the SADC Preventive Mission in Lesotho (SAPMIL), namely Angola, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania. The objective of the mission was to follow up on progress made towards the implementation of the SADC decisions, including the deployment and operations of the SADC Preventive Mission in Lesotho (SAPMIL).
The follow-up Mission paid courtesy calls on the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Right Honorable Dr. Thomas Thabane; and among others, engaged with the Head of SAPMIL, Ambassador Matias B. Matondo and his Team; the Government officials, the United Nations Resident Representative to the Kingdom of Lesotho and his Team; and the European Union.
The Follow-up Mission, while appreciating notable progress that SAPMIL has achieved thus far, in the discharge of its mandate, and in the implementation of SADC decisions, also noted that reforms and national dialogue processes have stalled due to lack of consensus among stakeholders. Notable progress includes, the development of Roadmaps for key Reform Areas and for National Dialogue; mobilization of resources for the reforms and national dialogue; formulation of a bill to establish a Reforms Commission; and stakeholders' consultations. With the progress made, and in view of the stalled dialogue, the Follow-up Mission, noted that further progress in these areas requires a facilitated dialogue accompanied by genuine commitment and consensus by all stakeholders in the Kingdom of Lesotho, including the Government, Opposition Parties, Non- State Actors, the Academia, College of Chiefs, and Religious Organizations.
The milestones that SAPMIL has attained include, the promotion of peace and security through confidence building patrols; promotion and facilitation of dialogue and consensus-building among stakeholders; support in the re-integration of Lesotho Defence Force soldiers; provision of training to Lesotho Mounted Police Service Officers; provision of expertise in Police Forensic Investigations; provision of expertise and support in the investigation of high profile cases and alleged human rights abuses.
The Follow-up Mission also appreciated the commitment by other Partners, such as the United Nations, and European Union to support the Ongoing Reforms and the implementation of SADC decisions. In this regard, it was agreed that SADC will continue to lead efforts that are geared toward supporting the Kingdom of Lesotho in the restoration of political stability and enhancement of peace and security through a coordinated approach that will bring together efforts by all partners, and by putting in place an effective dialogue and communication strategy.
The Follow-up Mission also visited the premises of the SAPMIL Mission Headquarters, and the facilities of the four different components of the SAPMIL, namely: Military, Police, Intelligence and Civilian. The Follow-up Mission expressed its gratitude to the Government and people of Lesotho for the cooperation and support rendered to SAPMIL. The Follow-up Mission also commended SAPMIL Personnel for their dedication, professionalism, and the excellent job done. The Mission assured the SAPMIL personnel that the issues that were brought to the attention of the Mission will be given due attention.
Done on 26 February, 2018
At SAPMIL Headquarters
Briefing at SAPMIL
AT the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
At the Angolan Contingent Facility
At the Zambian Contingent Facility
Before meeting the Prime Minister
At the United Nations Office
At SAPMIL Police