SADC condemns Motšomotšo assassination

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. . . as ‘beefed up’ Oversight Committee jets in 

Pascalinah Kabi

THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has condemned the “barbaric and heinous” assassination of Lieutenant-General Khoantle Motšomotšo on Tuesday, with the regional bloc also deploying an Oversight Committee that includes military experts.

According to the government, Lt-Gen Motšomotšo was gunned down at his Ratjomose barracks office by Brigadier Bulane Sechele who was accompanied by Colonel Tefo Hashatsi.

Brig Sechele was eventually fatally shot by Lt-Gen Motšomotšo’s bodyguards while Col Hashatsi was also gunned down and later died of his injuries in hospital.

In a statement issued yesterday by SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation chairperson and Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, condemns the “indescribable and inexcusable barbaric and heinous act”.

“This development is a serious blight and set back to the ongoing efforts to restore peace, security and stability to the Kingdom of Lesotho. It is an unfortunate occurrence which threatens the prevailing peace and security of the SADC region as a whole,” states Mr dos Santos.

The deployment of four ministers from the SADC Ministerial Double Troika and a fact-finding mission consisting of defence and security chiefs is meant to avert “the possibility of further deterioration of security in the Kingdom of Lesotho”.

Expected in the country today, the fact-finding mission is expected to conduct an assessment of the security situation and to hold meetings with all key stakeholders in the country “in order to establish the root causes of the assassination and subsequently recommend the appropriate courses of action”.

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s Press Attaché Thabo Thakalekoala yesterday confirmed the Oversight Committee’s deployment, saying: “The oversight committee arrives in the country tomorrow (today) and in line with Lesotho’s request to have it beefed up with military personnel, we are expecting that they will come with military experts.”

Lesotho had asked for the addition of some senior military officials from the SADC region to the Oversight Committee to monitor the security situation during the implementation of reforms during last month’s SADC Double Troika Summit in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Oversight Committee was established in July 2015 to serve as an early warning mechanism for instability in Lesotho and to monitor the implementation of SADC decisions.

The committee was also tasked with providing assistance in the implementation of constitutional, security and public sector reforms in Lesotho.

 

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