EU concerned over ‘renewed tensions’

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2013_mar20_21_eu_flag1Billy Ntaote

The European Union (EU) says Lesotho’s security situation has become worrisome, joining several other organisations and the American government that have expressed similar concerns.

A spate of abductions and alleged torture of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) members by their colleagues, and the decision by former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and two ex-ministers to flee the country over the past two weeks claiming they feared for their lives, have been widely condemned in Lesotho.

The EU, one of the country’s major development partners alongside the United States, yesterday also issued a statement expressing concern at these developments, while America also raised almost the same worries last week.

Reads the EU statement: “Lesotho has undertaken, in recent years, a number of significant steps towards strengthening and consolidating governance in the country, thereby overcoming recurrent fragility.

“The country has successfully held elections (on 28 February 2015) which led to a second coalition government. The recent ‘Coalition Agreement for Stability and Reform’ and the Southern African Development Community recommendations set out the framework for the government to implement urgent legal, institutional and security sector reforms, engaging with the opposition and other stakeholders.

“Recently, there has been a deterioration in the security climate and renewed tensions and divisions, which risk undermining the progress made. Citizens need continued reassurance that the rule of law and accountability will be consistently applied and that reconciliation efforts will be pursued.

The European Union is committed to continue supporting specific efforts in this regard.”

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