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Lesotho PM Returns Home Following Unrest

  • VOA News

FILE - Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane attends a European Union-Africa summit in Brussels, Apr. 2, 2014.

FILE - Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane attends a European Union-Africa summit in Brussels, Apr. 2, 2014.

Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has returned to the capital, Maseru, four days after he fled to South Africa after an apparent bid by the military to oust him.

Police and government officials say the prime minister arrived in the country on Wednesday guarded by South African police.

Lesotho map

Lesotho map

Thabane fled Lesotho on Saturday before the military surrounded his residence and that of a top police official, and then disarmed two police stations in the capital, Maseru.

He accused the army and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing of seeking to oust him from power.

The military denied staging a coup and accused elements of the police force of planning to arm political radicals ahead of an anti-government protest.

The unrest prompted members of a regional security bloc, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to hold an emergency meeting in Pretoria Monday, during which a deal was brokered to ease Lesotho's political crisis.

Lesotho is a small, mountainous country with two million people encircled by South Africa. It has gone through several coups since it won independence from Britain in 1966.

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