The Southern Africa’s regional body (SADC) is sending a rapid-response team to Lesotho. The team is to investigate the assassination of the country’s army commander.
The killing of Lesotho's army chief Khoantle Motsomotso dashed any hopes that the Southern African Development Community regional body (SADC) might have had about an end to the cycle of violence in the tiny mountain kingdom. Instead, the killing—which occurred at a military barracks in the capital, Maseru—has highlighted the bitter power struggle between the country's military and its politicians.
SADC has for years striven to strengthen democratic governance in Lesotho. But the gun battle, which also killed the two officers who allegedly shot the commander, has left the regional body frustrated over the continued political violence.
"We have a problem of long drawn-out politicization of the army," said Mafa Sejanamane, a political scientist at the National University of Lesotho.
Lesotho's violent history
The Southern African nation of about two million people has witnessed several coups and occasional political violence since it gained independence from Britain in 1966.