The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho with the assistance of the SADC Secretariat and the African Union Commission convened a technical workshop to discuss Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Lesotho on 26 July 2016.
The workshop was attended by 120 participants who included the Judiciary, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Heads of the Security Sectors and Senior Officials of the Government of Lesotho. Experts from the Republics of Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe also participated as representatives of the Double Troika Member States.
In his Opening Remarks, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, H.E. The Right Honourable Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili noted that the country's development challenges are compounded by the volatile security situation and acknowledged the regional partners' deep commitment to ensure that permanent peace and stability prevails in the country. The Prime Minister urged all participants "to realise that this is no ordinary workshop, but the beginning of a mammoth task to chart a new chapter in the process of addressing the security situation in Lesotho."
The Prime Minister noted that the workshop takes place in fulfilment of the ideals espoused in the Coalition Agreement which also seeks to "address the security situation to ensure that security services are professional, non-partisan, and fit for purpose for Lesotho' security needs". In this context the Prime Minister highlighted the observation of the SADC Commission of Inquiry which stated that "some of the political and security problems peculiar to the Kingdom of Lesotho emanate from the Constitution of Lesotho. The deficiencies and overlaps in the constitution with regard to mandates of security institutions need to be looked into urgently with a comprehensive strategy to reform them".
The Prime Minister called upon all participants and the nation at large to lend the process the support it deserves so that together Basotho can claim ownership of the outcome of the process, and concluded that there is hope that the outcome of the workshop will not only become part of the package the Government of Lesotho will submit to Summit in August 2016, but more importantly will underpin and inform Lesotho' security sector reform process and constitutional reforms.