Lesotho: The Southern African Development Community Preventive Mission in Lesotho (SAPMIL) officially launched
05.12.2017-Maseru/ The presence of the Southern African Development Community Preventive Mission in Lesotho (SAPMIL) in Lesotho is yet another historic milestone by SADC to support the country in her quest to institute reforms aimed towards achieving lasting political and security stability necessary for the economic development and general well-being of Basotho.
This were the remarks of the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Monyane Moleleki when speaking at the official launching ceremony of the SAPMIL in the country held at Vodacom Lesotho Park grounds in Maseru on Saturday.
Mr. Moleleki said it is their firm conviction that the presence of this mission is necessary to establish a secure, stable and peaceful environment conducive for the implementation of the SADC decisions, recommendations of the SADC Commission of Inquiry and the Constituttional, Parliamentary, Judicial, public and security sector reforms.
''Our commitment towards these reforms find solid expression in our third Coalition Government Agreement, where in we explicitly state our political will, for and on behalf of the masses of Basotho, to implement all SADC Decisions including the required Constitutional, Security sector, Parliamentary, public sector and Judicial reforms'', he elaborated.
He added that in order to lay a firm foundation for the whole reform process, an all-inclusive multi-stakeholders national dialogue will be held to pave way and ensure that the views of Basotho are democratically taken on board and that no one is left out of the process.
On that note, Mr. Moleleki indicated that the government in consultation with other stakeholders, all necessary efforts are being made to bring the leaders of some political parties that fled the country to come home and participate meaningfully in the reform process for the betterment of Lesotho.
The DPM conveyed gratitude to countries that responded to a call from the leadership to deploy men and women to this mission in Lesotho to assist as per the mandate of the mission.
In conclusion, Mr. Moleleki wished the mission team a beautiful stay in Lesotho for a period of six months but particularly during Christmas that they will spend away from their homes as they will be serving in Lesotho during the festive season and beyond.
Speaking at the same ceremony, the representative of the SADC Chairperson of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Mr. Admiral Rufino said the mission is in Lesotho to assist in the implementation of the SADC decisions so as to bring the country back to normalcy on politics and security sectors amongst others.He said the troops have not come to Lesotho to occupy the territory of Basotho but to help Basotho, saying during their stay, they are expected to respect the people of Lesotho while on the other hand they will execute orders given to them by the head of the mission.
Mr. Rufino said their contribution in Lesotho will not only benefit Lesotho but it will also benefit the region as a whole. Also speaking was the Director of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs Mr. Jorge Cardoso who said the mission has been deployed in the country not as invaders or intruders but as brothers and sisters from the region willing to share with Basotho on the building of a new dawn of stability, peace and prosperity for all.
He further highlighted that SAPMIL is not here to take over or replace the Lesotho Defence Force or other security institutions of Lesotho but said it is here to support and complement the efforts of the Oversight Committee and assist the Government of Lesotho in her quest to attain lasting peace and security in the country.Mr. Cardoso announced that the mission has a total of 269 personnel comprising 207 military personnel, 15 intelligence officers, 24 police officers and 12 civilian experts in different fields and will be in the country for six months.
As part of the launch, the SADC Flags was hoisted at the Missions offices, where it used to be the Peace Corps Offices near the United Nations House, the re-hatting of the contingent was also witnessed while the instruments that included the flag were also handed over to the Head of the Mission.Deployment of the mission is a decision of the SADC Double Troika summit following the killing of the LDF Commander, Lieutenant General Khoantle Mots'omot'so who was shot dead on September 05 this year in his office by some members of the same army.
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