Dialogue thirsts for peace restoration body in Lesotho

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Maseru – Participants attending a two-day dialogue on pre-election peace want a mechanism to resolve conflicts for attainment of peace ahead of the February 2015 election.

At the meeting, participants agreed that there was a need for formation of a body to provide an oversight on peace initiatives.

Pelele Letsoela, Member of Parliament of the Basotho Democratic National Party (BDNP) suggested for reform of the law to allow for formation of an ad hoc committee on peace and mediation. He said such a council, formed by the King in advice of the State Council, would resolve conflicts.

On the other hand Senator Futho Hoohlo suggested there be established a reconciliation committee as another remedy for a fragile peace as a short term measure to restore order in Lesotho. He explained that a high consideration for medium term and long term solutions to absence of peace should be devised.

Hoohlo, a member of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, a leader in Lesotho’s coalition government, called on regeneration practices of moral values from within the family structures, observing that as a “good start to peace building.”

Montoeli Masoetsa of the National Union of Mineworkers office in Lesotho observed a need for compliance with remedial peace solutions brought about by outside facilitators on Lesotho’s political problems. He urged for thorough scrutiny of the political leadership manning Lesotho’s parliament.

In his address. Reverend Gabriel Tlaba. OMI said Lesotho was full of troublemakers who orchestrate chaos, conflict, violence and uncertainty. He advised that for peace to flourish individuals should engage in introspection, remarking that only peaceful citizens could offer peaceful co-existence.

Tlaba reminded delegates from various fields such as judiciary, legislature, NGos, media and religious groupings to be highly involved in peace building solutions “because some people use maximum effort to disturb peace.”

Organised by the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) and supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, the dialogue is aimed at forging for peace ahead of the general poll following the political crisis that broke in Lesotho some months ago.

The situation resulted in SADC establishing a mission in Lesotho headed by South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to broker peace process ahead of the snap election.

The dialogue ends tomorrow with topics including SADC’s mediation efforts, civil society electoral monitoring and drafting of election peace messages.

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