Lesotho: Royal Plea for Unity After Parties Agree to Reform Governance

Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso of Lesotho, Principal Chief of Matsieng and brother of King Letsie III.
5 July 2019

Cape Town — Against the backdrop of Lesotho's decades-long political strife, and recent turmoil within the current ruling party, a senior member of the Basotho royal family has issued an impassioned plea for reconciliation in the country.

Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, younger brother of King Letsie III, was speaking on the day parties signed an agreement - facilitated by regional peace brokers - aimed at stabilising the country through governance, security and media reforms.

The Basotho people "need to come to terms with our legacy and our history," Prince Seeiso told the journalist Nthakoana Ngatane.

In a video interview which Ngatane tweeted, he said, "We keep looking back and having all these recriminations about about what your father did, what your grandfather did to me or my grandfather, when I'm not my father - I'm myself, you're not your father, you're yourself...

"Now we have to move forward, so we have to make peace with our history, then move forward, having cognizance of those mistakes, making sure we don't repeat those mistakes again."

The small Southern African kingdom, surrounded by South Africa, has suffered more than two decades of inter- and intra-party rivalry despite being a homogeneous nation whose people speak one language and are led by a constitutional monarchy established in the 19th century.

The signing of an agreement on Thursday followed a facilitation first led by South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa when he was the deputy to President Jacob Zuma, then by South Africa's former deputy chief justice, Dikgang Moseneke.

Lesotho's Prime Minister Tom Thabane reassured Ramaphosa at the signing that his coalition government was committed to the reforms facilitated under the auspices of the regional governmental grouping, the  Southern African Development Community (SADC).

But Thabane faces an internal party revolt and a possible no-confidence motion in Lesotho's Parliament.

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