SADC Troika of Heads of State and Government to meet over Lesotho

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The SADC Troika of Heads of State and Government will meet later this week to give impetus to efforts to create peace and stability in Lesotho , announced Facilitator, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Deputy President Ramaphosa was speaking at the conclusion of his working visit to Maseru on Saturday 14 February 2015 where he met with various role players including His Majesty King Letsie III and Prime Minister Dr. Tom Thabane.

The Troika meeting will be preceded by the deployment of the SADC Electoral Observer Mission on Tuesday 18 February 2015 in Maseru as part of preparations for the forthcoming elections scheduled for 28 February 2015.

Deputy President Ramaphosa had visited the Kingdom following discussions held in Pretoria on Monday 9 February hosted by President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security, with a delegation of the Lesotho government’s coalition partners led by Prime Minister Dr. Tom Thabane.

In this regard, President Jacob Zuma had requested the Facilitator to return to the country as soon as possible to address the security challenges, reported violation of the Maseru Facilitation and Security Accords including the request for SADC to provide material support for the successful holding of elections as requested by the Lesotho delegation.

During his visit to Lesotho, the Facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa had expressed satisfaction with the levels of preparations for the forthcoming elections as organised by Lesotho’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). This view was also expressed by the SADC Electoral Advisory Council which had recently visited the country to assess the readiness for the holding of elections.

As part of efforts to create a climate conducive for the holding of elections, the Facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa held meetings with officers of Lesotho’s Defence Force  and Lesotho’s Mounted Police Service, following which he announced an agreement that members of of the Lesotho’s Defence Force will remain in barracks during the elections and only assist upon request from Lesotho’s IEC Deputy President Ramaphosa who had also met with leaders of the Christian Council of Lesotho, announced the Council’s intention to host a National Day of Prayer service to be held in Maseru on 21 February 2015.

Deputy President Ramaphosa further indicated that issues around security challenges and the request for SADC to provide material support for the brought forward elections will continue to receive the attention of the SADC Facilitation Mission.

This is a press statement from the Office of the Deputy Presidents issued this morning.

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