26 February 2018

Angola's Involvement in Lesotho Stability Highlighted

Maseru — The commitment of Angola to the peace process in Lesotho was highlighted last Thursday in Maseru City, Lesotho, by this country's minister of Foreign Affairs and International Matters, Lesego Makgoth.

Speaking to Angolan journalists, Lesego Makgoth, expressed gratitude to Angola for what it has been doing for the reestablishment of lasting peace in Lesotho.

He commended the diplomatic contacts that have been made by the Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, for the re-launch of the peacekeeping mission for Lesotho, in the ambit of the political crisis that took over this southern African country following the death of the then chief of Staff of the Lesotho Armed Forces, lieutenant general Khoantle Motsomotso, on 05 September, carried out by some military personnel.

In response to the request made by theo authorities, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) - with Angola chairing the SADC Defence and Security Organ - last December launched the Preventive Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL), to which Angola gave a contingent of 162 people.

Lesego Makgoth said, on the other hand, that contacts are being done for the opening of diplomatic missions in the capitals of Angola (Luanda) and Lesotho (Maseru), aimed at strengthening the political relations between the two states.

He said the situation in Lesotho is calm with the presence of the SAPMIL forces, led by Angola, thus inspiring the start of the restructuration process of the Lesotho Armed Forces.

He also appealed for the extension of the SAPMIL presence in the Kingdom of Lesotho from the initial six to eight months.

The Lesotho Foreign minister revealed that his country also needs assistance to cover the budgetary deficit of about USD 1.6 million, so that the SADC mission, which also gets the support of the African Union, can be successful.

He said the citizens are pleased with the presence of the SADC mission, adding that there are no complaints about negative behaviour by the SAPMIL contingent, which helps to stabilise the kingdom more quickly.

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