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Thabane stops army deployment


Keiso Mohlboli

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has refused to sanction the countrywide deployment of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) members announced on Friday by the LDF Public Affairs Office.

The statement had noted: “The LDF’s mandated duties, among others, are to protect the nation and their property. The LDF will therefore, carryout patrol operations in all the districts starting from 13 February 2015.

“It is with good intentions that the LDF command will conduct such operations in order to protect the nation and maintain peace and stability in the country”.

However, Government Secretary, Moahloli Mphaka yesterday told the Sunday Express he had neither seen the LDF statement nor heard it announced on radio but only saw a savingram dated 13 February 2015 from Acting LDF Commander, Khoantle Motšomotšo, addressed to Dr Thabane as the Minister of Defence, Police and National Security, informing him about the deployment.

“The savingram was to inform the prime minister that there would be a deployment of soldiers countrywide to protect the people and their property,” Mr Mphaka said.

“However, the prime minister responded the same day and asked the deployment to stop immediately. I don’t know if it continued but Dr Thabane turned it down.”

Lesotho holds snap elections on 28 February 2015, amid tension between former allies in the coalition government, namely Dr Thabane and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing. However, the premier has continually complained about lack of security in the country and accuses the LDF of not recognising his leadership and supporting Mr Metsing in their feuding which resulted in the early elections.

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