Kamoli security roadmap ‘impresses’ Ramaphosa
A “Security roadmap” proposed by Lieutenant General tlali Kamoli “for the February 2015 general elections and beyond” has reportedly impressed Southern African Development community (SADC) Facilitator to Lesotho, cyril ramaphosa, sources privy to the case told the Lesotho Times this week.
the roadmap, which was allegedly discussed during Mr ramaphosa’s visit to Lesotho last week on his SADC mission, suggests how the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) could work in harmony once again.
relations between the LDF and LMPS have been strained in recent months and reached breaking point in April this year when Lt Gen Kamoli — who was then army commander before his dismissal by Prime Minister thomas thabane on 28 August for alleged insubordination, and replaced by Lt Gen Maaparankoe Mahao — refused to surrender eight soldiers the police needed to interview in connection with the simultaneous bombing of three Maseru homes on the night of 27 January 2014.
One of the attacked homes belonged to LMPS commissioner, Khothatso tšooana, while the others were owned by Dr thabane’s partner, Liabiloe ramoholi, and her neighbour, ‘Mamoletsane Moletsane.
Lt Gen Kamoli, who refused to accept his dismissal as LDF commander, remains in full control of the army, insisting the expulsion was illegal.
However, SADC has since intervened in the impasse through South Africa’s Deputy President Mr ramaphosa, who brokered the Maseru Security Accord (MSA) signed on 23 October 2014.
under the MSA, Lt Gen Kamoli, Lt Gen Mahao, and commissioner tšooana are supposed to go to an African or commonwealth country on indefinite leave to allow the restoration of cordial relations between the two feuding security agencies before Lesotho holds snap elections in February 2015.
During the leave of absence, which comes into effect on 21 November 2014, the three men are not supposed to “exercise any authority or undue influence over the LDF or LMPS”, which would be under the leadership of their deputies.
However, Lt Gen Kamoli has proposed a roadmap he believes would see the LDF and LMPS working in harmony before and after the Sadc-brokered early elections, which were prompted by the collapse of the coalition government comprising Dr thabane’s All Basotho convention, Lesotho congress for Democracy and Basotho National Party led by Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Sports Minister thesele ‘Maseribane, respectively.
in the document titled “Proposal of Lesotho Defence Force for realisation of Maseru Security Accord and Suggested Security roadmap to the February 2015 General elections and Beyond” — a copy of which the Lesotho Times has managed to obtain — Lt Gen Kamoli writes:
“Bearing in mind the route that has been travelled from the inception of the Windhoek Declaration (signed on 31 July 2014), Victoria Falls SADC Summit Decision (18 August 2014), Pretoria Declaration (signed on 1 September 2014) and Maseru Facilitation Declaration (MFD) (signed on 2 October 2014), all the above-mentioned agreements were meant to ensure a lasting political situation in Lesotho.
“Besides, the issue relating to the security situation was addressed subsequent to the signing of the MFD (meant to restore political stability to Lesotho).
“it is worth stating that the Kingdom of Lesotho has been faced with continuous security challenges that manifest themselves through tension and lack of trust and cooperation between the LDF and LMPS.”
Lt Gen Kamoli then acknowledges Mr ramaphosa’s efforts to restore peace between the LDF and LMPS since his appointment as
Facilitator on 17 September 2014, and proposes how this process could be further enhanced for lasting stability in the Kingdom.
Lt Gen Kamoli also notes his leave starts on 24 November 2014 “after the expiration of the 21 working days” from the signing of the MSA.
He continues: “In an effort to affirm its commitment towards the initiative of political and security stability, as well as to promote trust and cooperation between the LDF and LMPS, the LDF command has realised the need to initiate dialogue at strategic and operational level between the two security agencies.
“it is also important to have such activities that will bring together personnel in the form of joint ventures, workshops and operational activities.
“the understanding and appreciation of the stated proposal above will ordinarily lead to the fulfilment of the obligations and undertakings guaranteed in the MSA for the recognition, respect and compliance with the already mentioned documents and laws.”
Lt Gen Kamoli’s Proposed Security Strategy:
Joint Operation Centre
there is need to establish a Joint Operation centre (JOC) and Sub-jocs to manage the operations of both the LDF and LMPS, which will ultimately work together before and during the election period in planning operations and monitoring of executions of operations.
examples of duties/operations to be carried out are Vehicle check Point; urban Patrols; cordon and Search Operations.
the idea is to build oneness between the LDF and LMPS through different sporting activities, volleyball, netball, tennis, and aerobics.
Joint cleaning campaigns to be carried out simultaneously in different towns around Lesotho.
Fun walks to be carried out by LDF and LMPS members in Maseru and other districts in civil clothes followed by refreshments.
the workshops will cover, inter alia, peacekeeping and related issues; domestic violence; HIV & AIDS; ebola outbreak.
One of the key means to be utilised in the process is the prayer session to be conducted by chaplains from the LDF & LMPS.
importantly, both must quote relevant verses equitable for the purpose of the sessions. the message will be presented in written form and the prayer has to be conducted within the barracks or LMPS premises.
contacted for comment on Mr ramaphosa’s alleged “enthusiastic” response to the roadmap, his spokesperson, ronnie Mamoepa said: “Whatever was discussed between Mr ramaphosa and Lt Gen Kamoli remains confidential.
“it is premature for me to comment on something which is at confidential level. As soon as processes are ready for public consumption we will definitely inform you.”
From left: Prime minister Thomas Thabane, SADC Facilitator to Lesotho Cyril ramaphosa and Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli during the signing of the maseru Security Accord last month.