29 January 2016

Lesotho: Rule of Law Crisis

Photo: GCIS
Friendlier times: Lesotho's Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili, left, with South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the regional facilitator of talks with Lesotho, in September 2014.
press release

On Monday 1 February 2016, two important events are scheduled in Lesotho that stand to have important effects on the country's prospects for peace and stability and to indicate the effectiveness of Southern African Development Community (SADC) processes and diplomacy.

While Lesotho has faced cyclic security and political crises, the seriousness of SADC's interventions and investment over the past two years have come to a head in recent threats of suspending Lesotho from SADC and in efforts to push domestic reforms through the SADC-initiated Commission of Inquiry established in late 2015.

1 February marks the deadline given by SADC for Lesotho to publish the Commission's findings and to report to SADC on the government's implementation of its recommendations. The government's repeated efforts at resisting the Commission processes, SADC's strong stance in insisting on the government's cooperation, and the delicate security situation underlying the government's reliance on the support of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), indicate that any action taken or refused to be taken by the Lesotho government on this date will have serious consequences.

Secondly, 1 February marks the resumption of a Court Martial set up by the LDF to try soldiers charged with plotting a mutiny. The arrests and detention of these soldiers and the procedures surrounding the Court Martial have raised serious human rights concerns coupled with the threat that the accused face the death penalty if convicted.

In addition, the SADC Commission's Terms of Reference include a requirement to review the mutiny-plot investigations. With the release of the controversial Commission report anticipated on the same day, the future of the Court Martial process stands in question.

SALC has prepared a Press Briefing and Q&A to provide information and context in matters relating to the political and security crisis in Lesotho in order to give context to events anticipated on Monday, 1 February 2016.

Click here for Lesotho Press Briefing

More on This

Judicial Inquiry Calls for Firing of Defence Chiefs, Confirms Nyusi

Faced with the threat of suspension from SADC (Southern African Development Community), the government of Lesotho has… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 Southern Africa Litigation Centre. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.