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S. African President Zuma to Meet With Lesotho Leaders Tuesday

  • Peter Clottey

FILE - Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, Prime Minister of Lesotho, addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, Sept. 26, 2013.

FILE - Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, Prime Minister of Lesotho, addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, Sept. 26, 2013.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to meet leaders of Lesotho’s coalition government Tuesday in a bid to help resolve sharp political disagreements that led to last month’s alleged attempt to overthrow Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s government, according to the prime minister's spokesperson, Thabo Thakalekoala.

Zuma, who is chairperson of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, is backed by the regional bloc to broker a peace deal to help end Lesotho’s political tension.

A delegation from the Commonwealth of Nations from London will also participate in the meeting, according to Thakalekoala. The Lesotho leaders will include Prime Minister Thabane, Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Thesele 'Maseribane, Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation.

“The purpose of the meeting is to chart the way forward to find out how Lesotho can achieve everlasting peace and stability. And we are hoping [that] after that meeting, we will see some progress towards achieving peace in this country,” said Thakalekoala.

Rivals in the coalition government accused Thabane of a power grab after he suspended parliament, allegedly to avoid a vote of no-confidence.

Thabane called for military intervention in Lesotho to restore law and order following the alleged coup attempt.

Thakalekoala says the people of Lesotho want military intervention from SADC in order to feel secure and safe, since he said a renegade army general seized military weapons and went into hiding.

“Until that renegade general is disarmed, this country will remain tensed and people will never be at ease. So, military intervention according to many Basotho is the only solution,” Thakalekoala said.

Thakalekoala said the security and political situation remain tense despite efforts to resolve disagreement in the coalition government.

“The disagreement[s] between the three leaders are getting wider and wider every day, especially the deputy prime minister,” said Thakalekoala.

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