23 October 2017

Southern Africa: Lesotho - Peacekeeping Troops' Arrival Imminent, State Insists

The Lesotho government insists a four-nation regional peacekeeping force will be deployed in the country by the 1 November deadline despite hiccups and disagreements. By PETER FABRICIUS.

Sharp differences have emerged between Lesotho and the secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) over the deployment of a regional peacekeeping force.

But Lesotho Foreign Affairs and International Relations minister Lesego Makgothi said this weekend that the South African, Namibian, Angolan and Swazi troops would start entering his country under the SADC banner on 1 November, regardless.

That was the date SADC leaders decided on during a summit in Pretoria on 15 September.

They instructed the SADC secretariat in Gaborone to send a technical assessment mission to determine the logistics of the force.

The technical assessment mission completed its mission and reported to a meeting of SADC military chiefs in Luanda on 6 October that a battalion-strength force of about 1,200 was needed.

The military chiefs were expected merely to fine-tune the technical assessment mission report but instead they decided to send another technical assessment mission to Lesotho on 18 October to resolve further significant logistical matters, including the size of the force.

The decision to send another assessment team angered...

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