Lesotho Times
UNITED States Ambassador to Lesotho, Matthew Harrington

America slams Kamoli return

 

UNITED States Ambassador to Lesotho, Matthew Harrington
UNITED States Ambassador to Lesotho, Matthew Harrington

Billy Ntaote

America’s Ambassador to Lesotho, Matthew Harrington, says his government is concerned that no one has been held accountable for the 30 August 2014 political unrest and violence between the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS).

A senior LMPS officer, Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko, was shot dead when LDF members stormed Police Headquarters on the day in question in what the army said was a special operation. The LDF also attacked Maseru Central Police Station and Mabote Police Station on the same morning, with then Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, calling the assaults an attempted coup. Dr Thabane accused Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, whom he had fired the previous day as LDF commander, of allegedly orchestrating the botched putsch.

Speaking during a roundtable discussion with journalists in Maseru yesterday, Ambassador Harrington not only expressed concern that no one had been arrested in connection with the simultaneous attacks on the three key police stations, but also that the Lesotho government had decided to reinstate Lt Gen Kamoli.

Lt Gen Kamoli was reinstated on Friday last week and the American government says this was “a missed opportunity to set an example and not reinstate one of the most polarising figures from that difficult period, as commander of the Lesotho Defence Force”.

Ambassador Harrington continued: “We have concerns on security developments in the country; these are issues that should be accounted for as they would be considered by December when the Millennium Challenge Corporation Board reassesses the eligibility of Lesotho for a second compact as this is evaluated annually.

“There should be accountability regarding the 30 August 2014 incidents as certain facts are not in dispute. Lt Gen Kamoli was dismissed and there was a raid on police stations. During the raid, a police officer died and there has not been any arrest.

“Lt Gen Kamoli is reinstated and there is no punishment for the 30 August incidents. These are incidents that took place while he was still in charge of the LDF. This all sends a message that the country is going backwards and not forward.”

The Ambassador also noted other “recent troubling developments” in Lesotho, among them alleged kidnappings and abuse within the LDF, the murder of prominent All Basotho Convention supporter and businessman Thabiso Tšosane, and failure to provide security for former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. Dr Thabane fled the country last week and has sought refuge in South Africa, saying he fears for his life back home.

Ambassador Harrington further said the Embassy had learnt that the abducted soldiers were being brought to the High Court heavily guarded by soldiers wearing balaclava hats covering the LDF members’ faces. The Ambassador also expressed concern at the intimidation of lawyers by the soldiers at the High Court, as they bring their arrested colleagues.

“It seems like the LDF is doing as it pleases. We would like to see government’s commitment to the depoliticisation of its security agencies. The fact that the former Prime Minister has not been provided with security in line with the laws of Lesotho is also a worrying matter that needs to be addressed by the government.”

He also stressed the need for government, either through the Minister of Defence and National Security or the Prime Minister, to address the general public about what was going on in the country

“Basotho need to hear what is going on from their leadership. The government of Lesotho should also take a hard look at past incidents and the family of the slain police officer should get the justice it deserves. It should be known who ordered the LDF to raid those police stations.

“The government, I believe, should look at its own Coalition Agreement for guidance on the security sector reforms that it pledged to undertake. On the other hand, we are prepared to assist the government of Lesotho in these much-needed reforms,” said Ambassador Harrington.

However, the Ambassador emphasised that his reference on Lt Gen Kamoli should not be mistaken as taking sides in local issues.

“Any Sovereign State has a right to appoint people into office but here, the government of Lesotho, missed an opportunity to set an example,” he said.

Ambassador Harrington also emphasised the need for Lesotho to “speedily” undertake institutional and constitutional reforms and ensure the country “does not fall back into an abyss of political and security instability”.

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20 comments

  • That is what beautiful America is known for! Maoba basebetsi ba ne ba re Maamerica a itse, today america says “The Ambassador also noted other “recent troubling developments” …..failure to provide security for former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. I thought Tom said he does not want to be guarded by LDF contrary to the norm. Naha e nnyane mathata a maholo lol. 7 de laan e mathateng America e batla Thabane. hahahahah!

  • Clearly from the statements you can draw a line and sure could sense some kind of bias. I smell a rat

  • I just hope this Government will take heed or else Lesotho will collapse. But then maybe we need to collapse in order to restructure the country than make new structures on old rotten foundation. So help us God.

  • very true aunty P. and thank God that we are a global village, otherwise these people would oppress us to death!

  • This is more than serious comades, Metsing and the company have to account for all this things. I personally think that tau ea thaba has nothing to with all this.

  • This is more than serious comrades, Metsing and the company have to account for all this things. I personally think that tau ea thaba has nothing to with all this.

  • Talla Motsamai o fuoe chelete e
    M49,999 a khutla a fuoa M27, 000 ka the
    same date, the same day total ea
    chelete e fuoeng Talla Ke M77,000,
    Pusong ea ntate Thabane, le Me
    puseletso Ramokhethi le eena a fuoa
    M49,999, le M27,000 total e me puseletso
    ae fuoeng ke M77,000, me liabiloe
    Ramoholi eena a fuoa M47,000, a boela
    a fuoa M25,000 ka li 19 December
    2014,total ea hae eena ke,M 72,000.

    Tsena tsohle neli etsoa ka bobolu le bomenemene
    CAN AMERICA SLAM THIS WESTERN COUNTRIES YOU ARE ALWAYS BIASED YOU START WARS YOU CANT FINISH ALL OVER THE WORLD YOU ARE PATHETIC

  • THE ECONOMY OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES IS DOING SO WELL IT IS GOING TO TOPPLE AMERICA AND ITS ALLIES IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS WE WIL SEE THESE ARE CHINA, INDIA RUSSIA, BBRAZIL JAPAN CONTRIES LIKE UK USED TO BE CALLED GREAT BRITAIN WATCH IT THE G WILL BE GONE ONLE THE B WILL BE LEFT

  • Uena o ipitsang Liabiloe; nahana ka hlooho eseng ka pelo. Remember that “resentment (hatred) is like drinking a poison hoping that it will kill all your enemies” Americans are spot on this time and even if you can choose to ignore the content of their statement, truth is you know that they correctly concerned like every normal person living in Lesotho.

  • thanks to kamoli, lesotho is now a country listed as the most dangerous country in the world.

  • Ke hotse ke mokana !! ha ke so bone Sethunya se rarolla mathata!! engaging in honest and serious dialogue is the best solution! for us in Lesotho it is difficult to get a solution because our leaders do not have public interest in their hearts, all they have is to serve their own personal interests, unfortunately using state organs like police and the Army , and using their political powers.
    if you can ask them what is their vision for the next 10 years! where do they want to see this country in that period!! u ka utloa mahlabisa lihlong!!! I stand to be corrected here!! with all the signs clearly seen by observant Basotho!! i can conclude that we are to be declared a failed state!!! we do not have leadership capable of carrying the country forward!! with the current state of affairs i do not see Lesotho developing!!

  • Ereng ke le joetse maamerica ke lekhotla le safoseng try them u can not recover never from maqeba alinala tsa bona..they punish when u least expect and very hard. Re loana ntoa ea seriti moo kapa ea eng? Mpolelle

  • It’s so interesting to read all this comments and to see that there are still people who’d say the things they are saying on this public platform.

    Maybe we should start first by educating ourselves so that we open our eyes, eyes and minds. How stupid it is to see that everyone is against what is happening even the mighty super America has intervened but there are still some Basotho who thinks all is still normal.

    As a mosotho, I disappointed to say that because of lack of individual independence, even when things are wrong we still say they are alright up until they affect you.

    When the American can the MCC and AGOA, then the ignorant Basotho will only see and feel that the current government is derailing the progress of our beloved KoL. Unfortunately the effects of the American will affect all Basotho regardless of their political affiliation.

    It’s already difficult to get employment in Lesotho when you’re an intellectual let alone those poor Basotho who’s life is dependent on the change they get from being factory worker. What’s going to happen to them?

    We should stop thinking like politically but for the better future of Lesotho and Basotho and standup before its toooooo late.

    Some of this guys that we are busy defending, are financially set and that I can’t say about most of Basotho.

    This is our Lesotho and its future is upto us.

  • HO EA NYAHAMISA HO BONA HORE BASOTHO BA LUMELA HO BA MAKHABUNYANE A BO AMERICA LE KAJENO ACHEE LE TLA TUTULOA KE MAKHOOA HO FIHLELA NENG CHE MORIANA OA LONA KE MAKHOOA A LEBONE HA HO MOO LE EANG LE TLA BA MAKHOBA HO FIHLELA! HA LE BATLE HO NAHANA HA LE BATLE HO SEBETSA LE BA TLA FEELA HO AHLAMELA LITHUSO TSA BO AMERICA LE EA TENA

  • Liabiloe u ipuela joalo ka ngoana feela tjena.Ebe u ka bolela na uena u ts’oaretse Lesotho eng? u tsebahala ka eng ebontshang hore ha o tutuloe ke makhooa. Ke bona macongo ankile thipa antsa its’elakha. pele ho likhetho tsa 1993 ke ne ke lumela hore ke batho ba fokolang haholo bao eleng macongo kamoo manasi a na hlekefetsa baneng ba se e le bona politicking. Joale ke bona macongo a batla ho pheta history le bona ka hlekefetsa batho ba tsamaeang le bohanyetsi. E le ho sireletsa maphelo a bona, le tla bona membership ea lona e phahama haholo empa le tla makoatsoa ke sephetho sa likhetho hore batho bane ba ipatetse lefu le phafa feela. DC e bonahala e lahleheloa ke litho ka lebelo le phahameng ‘me ho ke kehoa makatsa ha likhethong tse tla latela ea khutla le mabatooa a 10 feela. Ntte Mosisili ontsa lahleheloa ke setumo kahanyane joale o iqetetse ka ho khutlela puson hape hoja e ne eka ke mopolotiki ea bohlale.

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