Lesotho army and police signing of MOU shelved

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Maseru- A signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) has been shelved indefinitely.

The MOU was to be signed today here as part of efforts to implement the Maseru Security Accord facilitated by the SADC mission led by mediator and South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Maseru Security Accord is meant to assist in restoration of harmonious relations between the Lesotho army and the police by ending the confrontations that began on August 30 2014, leaving one police officer killed and others injured.

The Accord was signed by LDF’s Lieutenant Generals Tlali Kamoli and Maaparankoe Mahao as well as Commissioner of Police Khothatso T’sooana on October 23 2014.

The three have been put on an unspecified leave of absence from normal duty in Uganda, Ethiopia and Algeria.

The MOU signing was to be undertaken by the two security agencies’ current leaders Acting LDF Commander Major General Khoantle Mot’somot’so and LMPS Acting Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police Masupha Masupha.

Acting Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police Masupha Masupha
Acting Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police Masupha Masupha

However, it was resolved the army personnel and the police hold a road march starting from Mabote police post to the Ratjomose Barracks where the two leaders addressed the security personnel.

Lesotho army and police at their reconciliation march in Maseru today.
Lesotho army and police at their reconciliation march in Maseru today.

The MOU ensures that police and army share information on crime intelligence prevention and cooperate in areas of protecting the citizenry and its property while avoiding a repeat of the past clashes.

The document also establishes the Joint Operation Centre manned with army and police personnel. It is to be located at the Mejametalana Airwing.

Today’s march was part of the activities contained in the MOU as a tool to attract close cooperation between the army and the police.

During the march the media was barred by the army intelligence from covering the speeches delivered at the Ratjomose Barracks on the pretext that “‘the event is for the army and police.”

Some of Lesotho journalists who were denied entry into military barracks where the march ended. From left: Nkoale Ts'oana of Moeletsi oa Basotho Newspaper, Buda Moseme of People's Choice Radio and Khutliso Sekoati of newsline365.wordpress.com
Some of Lesotho journalists who were denied entry into military barracks where the march ended. From left: Nkoale Ts’oana of Moeletsi oa Basotho Newspaper, Buda Moseme of People’s Choice Radio and Khutliso Sekoati of newsline365.wordpress.com

Journalists who had already secured entry into the barracks were kicked out.

However, youngsters who were ferried to the occasion by the military buses, were allowed entry into the barracks to witness the addresses.

It is planned the army and the police will tour other army and police posts in the other nine districts with Mokhotlong being the next target.

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